Guilt Free Holiday Eating

With the onslaught of holiday dinner parties, office parties, ugly sweater parties, holiday breakfasts, and New Year’s parties comes some all new temptations and obstacles to maintaining our fitness and nutritional goals.

At Thanksgiving time, I posted a brief survival guide, but Thanksgiving was just one day, now we are into a  period of several weeks of parties and meals.

Here are some ideas and tips I have found helpful in sticking to my own plan. I have also included some healthy foods you should seek out at meals


1. Don’t Skip Meals: If you have a party to attend later in the day do not skip meals during the day.  Keep eating small, healthy meals throughout the day. You can make those meals slightly smaller so the party meals won’t throw off your total caloric intake, but do not starve yourself all day in anticipation of eating at a party.  You will overeat due to hunger.

*Remember food is your fuel, not your reward.

2. Eat Before Parties:  To avoid the all out rush to the appetizers as soon as you walk in to the party, have a snack of fruit, veggies, yogurt, almonds or cottage cheese before you go.  This way you won’t be hungry when you first get to the party.

3.  BYO: If possible, bring a healthy dish so you know you have an option once you are at the party.

Food Ideas and Party Guides

4.  Appetizers:  If you can, avoid the high calorie, high fat appetizers.  Choose wisely.  Choose items such as fresh vegetables with a little dip, or a humus dip, fresh fruit, or even shrimp with a little sauce.

5. Entrees:  When filling your plate, aim for smaller portion sizes on your first helping of dinner.  Then you can enjoy seconds without the guilt. Plus, you may find you were not as hungry as your eyes thought you were.

foods – salad, veggies, lean meats, yams, nuts, fruit,

6.  Maintain Physical Activity:  Realize it may not be possible to stick to your regular schedule but be flexible and work to rearrange your workouts to keep as routine as possible during the holidays. Also, it may be possible to change-up your activities.  If you can’t get to the gym for a workout or cardio, maybe an alternative will be to pop in a cardio dvd or workout video.

7. Enjoy the Holidays AND the Food!  There is no reason to dread holiday parties and feel you cannot enjoy any delicious food.  Maintain your health goals and enjoy the holidays.

  • Your food choices should center around what you already know to be healthy – salads, veggies, fresh fruit, lean meats, yams, nuts,  fish.  Go easy on fat-packed dressings and dips.
  • Keep your portion sizes in check – enjoy desserts, but not all the desserts at once!
  • Stick to your fitness routine.

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