Delicious food is a big part of the holiday season. Families around the world have unique traditions and dishes that they love to eat at this time of year, but it's very important that you try to continue eating a balanced diet.
The holiday season has become synonymous with over-indulgence, and multiple days of heavy meals can take its toll on your body. You might put on unwanted weight, for instance, and even affect things like your blood pressure or blood sugar levels.
To help you eat as healthily as possible, here's a look at 10 tips that you can follow to enjoy healthy eating over the holiday period.
1. Swap Your Drinks For Diet Versions
Over the holiday season, you'll probably have lots of different drinks on offer. If you plan on drinking soda or alcohol over the holiday period, you should try to find the diet versions of your favorite drinks.
This is a great way to cut down your sugar intake over the holiday period. This helps to protect your liver and dramatically cuts your risk of accumulating belly fat over the holiday season.
2. Don't Have Snacks Out All Day
Over the holiday season, there's a good chance that you'll have snacks around you at all times. Temptation lurks at every corner, and we all have a natural tendency to graze over the course of the day if the food is there.
To stop yourself from over-eating, you might want to put your snacks away and just enjoy them at set times of the day. It's very surprising just how much more a person can eat when the snacks are at hand.
Giving yourself set times to enjoy snacks can also enhance your enjoyment. Those tasty holiday treats are so much better if you enjoy them in moderation!
3. Swap Sweets For Nuts
If you are looking for healthy holiday snacks, you can't go wrong with nuts. From walnuts and pecans to Macadamias and beyond, there are lots of great nuts out there that help to enhance your enjoyment of the holiday season.
These nuts are much better for you when compared to sweets and you'll find that they're loaded with protein and fiber too. This makes them a fantastic snack to enjoy during the holiday period.
You could even get the best of both worlds - there are lots of simple cinnamon candied nuts that are great in moderation. These are some of the best healthy sweet snacks.
4. Watch Your Sugar Intake
Sugar is everywhere during the holiday period. Vast quantities of candy and soda can quickly send your blood sugar levels soaring, so it's important that you carefully monitor how much sugar you consume.
You should try to make sure that you don't exceed the daily maximum amount of added sugars, as outlined by the American Heart Association (AHA):
- Men: 150 calories
- Women: 100 calories
5. Pile Up The Veggies
There are lots of tempting snacks around the holiday season, but there are also lots of stunning seasonal vegetables that you can enjoy. These are as nutritious as they are delicious, and they can act as a great source of vitamins and minerals over the holiday period.
Parsnips, carrots, red cabbage, brussels sprouts - the list is endless and you can find lots of exciting ways to cook those vegetables. Use the holiday season as an opportunity to try some new vegetables for the first time!
6. Eat Mindfully - Don't Get Distracted
Mindful eating is all about paying attention to exactly what you're eating. You should eat slowly and limit your distractions to really enjoy your food and appreciate its nutritional value.
Not only will mindful eating enhance your enjoyment of your delicious holiday meal, but it can also help you to unlock its full nutritional value. Studies have shown that when people are distracted while eating, they have a tendency to over-eat.
Intuitive eating is linked to mindful eating, too. Intuitive eating is a technique that encourages people to pay attention to what they eat and follow what feels natural to them - this can help them to achieve natural weight loss.
7. Stay Hydrated
If you're going to eat a great deal over the holiday period, you'll want to make sure that you are as hydrated as possible. All of the critical systems within your body require fluids to function properly.
Make sure that you don't forget to drink water over the holiday period to keep yourself as healthy as possible. With the right fluids, you'll be able to keep your heart, brain, and muscles healthy.
8. Up Your Protein
Protein is a very important component within the body. It is used to build and repair tissues, and it's essentially the building block of bones, muscles, skin, cartilage, and more.
You should make sure that changing dietary habits over the holiday period don't affect your intake of protein. Here's a look at the daily recommended intake levels for men and women:
- Men: 56 grams
- Women: 46 grams
9. Offer Healthy Snacks
During the holiday period, there are lots of healthy snacks to beat sugar cravings. These healthy snacks are simple to make and they capture the aromas and tastes of the holiday season.
Baked cinnamon apple chips are the perfect Christmas snack, too. Simply slice an apple into thin chips and then sprinkle with cinnamon on both sides. Then, it's a simple matter of baking for one hour on each side at 200°F.
10. Enjoy Yourself - Don't Have Guilt!
Of course, you should make sure to enjoy yourself over the holiday period! This is a wonderful time of the year and it's a great opportunity for you to enjoy yourself alongside your friends and family.
Feel free to indulge and treat yourself within reason - life is all about enjoying yourself, after all.
We hope that these tips help you to enjoy a happy and healthy Christmas with your loved ones!