7 Healthy Eating Habits for the Holidays, Dieticians Say – Eat this, not that – Eat this, not that | Directory Mayhem

There always seems to be a heavy puff of guilt and shame that happens as the holidays roll around every year. With Thanksgiving being a holiday entirely dedicated to food, and all those holiday parties that pop up during the holiday season, many people seem to think there are only two options – ignore all that delicious food and try to eat healthy , or forgetting to eat healthy and pampered all round.

The truth is, as Hannah Montana once said, you can have the best of both worlds. It is possible to enjoy the holidays to the fullest while staying healthy. It’s all about establishing healthy eating habits during the holidays that make you feel happy and good in your body – instead of overeating and feeling groggy.

We spoke to Registered Dietitians to pinpoint a few healthy eating habits you can follow to keep you feeling good and still enjoying all the goodness that the holiday season brings! Then check out our list of the 100 easiest recipes to inspire you to eat healthily.


Instead of focusing on negative self-talk — like trying to “avoid” certain foods — find positive ways to approach your meals that help you feel healthy.

“Think about what to add versus what to take away from your eating plan,” says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author Finally full, finally slim, and member of our medical expert panel. “For example, if you’re positive and focused on adding healthier products, you might not even want junk food anymore.”

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instead of saying you tip Do you have something, why not fit it into a holistic eating plan that you can feel good about?

“Everyone deserves to splurge on their favorite Christmas treats, the key is that spitting doesn’t become a way of life in the next two months,” says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook and a member of our medical expert panel. “The 80/20 rule can help you maintain some balance in your vacation routine while still enjoying what you love. The goal is to fill up 80% of the time with nutrient-dense foods. These include high-fiber carbohydrates, lean protein, healthy fat, dairy, fruits and vegetables. And don’t forget about the workout routine, either! Then treat yourself 20% of the time to those once-a-year comfort foods and filling desserts. If you’re fueling your body with nutrient-dense foods most of the time, the 20% probably won’t have as much of an impact.”

vegetable soup

“Before I go to a Christmas party or event, I enjoy a snack so I don’t get starved when I get there,” says Young. “I might have a bowl of vegetable soup, hummus, and veggies, or a handful of nuts and a piece of fruit to hold me up. I leave room to enjoy festive holiday dishes, but I don’t arrive hungry enough to eat anything — and anything — in sight.”

Or stock up on these 25 Best High Fiber Snacks That Will Keep You Full for a quick snack before heading to a holiday party.


“One of the best ways to enjoy the goodies of the holiday season without overdoing it is to make sure your meals and snacks include a good source of fiber and protein to help you feel full,” says Tammy, a member of the medical Panel of Experts Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, and Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT, also known as The Nutrition Twins. “That way you won’t be as likely to overeat, and it will be easier to keep portions in check when enjoying holiday treats that aren’t as healthy.”

“Never underestimate the power of sliced ​​veggies, whole grain crackers and high-fiber dips,” says Kim Rose, RD of Lose It!. “Not only do these special foods contain vitamins and minerals, but these foods are also packed with fiber. Fiber can help you stay full longer. Plus, it can reduce your appetite, which also reduces your calorie intake.”

“We recommend pistachios as a snack because they’re a crunchy, indulgent food that’s a good source of fiber, complete plant protein (which provides all nine essential amino acids), and unsaturated ‘good’ fats for a trio of nutrients that can help that you stay full longer,” say The Nutrition Twins.

holiday cake

“One of the best ways to indulge in your favorite holiday treats without letting them overwhelm you is to decide ahead of time which of your favorite foods and drinks you’ll be indulging in and where you’ll be scooping them serving you’re going to have,” say The Nutrition Twins. “When there’s no limit, it’s too easy to say, ‘I’m going to have one more.'”

“Yes, you can have a dessert, and yes, you can have a starch,” says Young. “Just pick your favorite and enjoy. Rather than banning desserts altogether, given a choice, choose the one you like best and enjoy.”

“By setting a limit beforehand, you can fully enjoy your favorite treats and be more likely to enjoy them,” says The Nutrition Twins. “And after you’ve eaten your predetermined portion, you know you’ve eaten it and you haven’t deprived yourself of your favorite foods. That way you can also enjoy the holidays without feeling overcrowded or regretful.”

drinking water

Drinking water throughout the day can be helpful in keeping your body hydrated and healthy when making decisions about what to put on your plate.

“Did you know that a lot of people tend to confuse thirst with hunger?” asks Rose. “When this happens, it’s common to have an extra serving of stuffing or biscuits. And if you’re not careful, all those calories can add up. Instead, try drinking a bottle of water before eating.”

And if you’re not drinking enough, here’s what happens to your body when you stop drinking water.

Thanksgiving Platter

You can enjoy absolutely any food you love – just make sure to portion them and prepare your plate for success.

“Portion control is an essential part of reaching your weight goals,” says Rose. “It’s important to consider the amount of food that ends up on your plate and the portion you’re actually eating. It’s easy to overeat a portion or two, especially when we’re not practicing mindful eating.”

Rose says you can put your meals and snacks in an app like Lose It! can be helpful for staying on track throughout the day and keeping track of your portions while also enjoying all of the holiday foods you love.

For even more holiday tips, read these next:

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