The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year. From spending time with extended family to seeing friends that are visiting home, it’s a time that many people look forward to every year. Unfortunately, too many people dread the holidays each year because they don’t want to lose progress on their healthy eating goals. Trust us, we get it. It’s hard to stick to your plan when everyone else does not have the same plan as you. Check out these tips for how to keep up with your healthy eating habits throughout the holidays:

  1. Don’t leave home hungry. If you have something small to eat at home before you leave to go holiday shopping, you will be less tempted to stop when you pass the pretzel store in the mall that pumps gallons of sweet aroma into the air as you walk past.
  2. Smaller plates and serving utensils really do work! Try a salad plate instead of a dinner plate when you’re checking out the food at the family potluck. You can’t fit as much on your plate, and by the time you’re finished with your first plate, you’re less likely to go up for seconds!
  3. Bring your own food that you know works for your body – and bring enough to share, along with a few copies of the recipe to share with your fam when they love it!
  4. Avoid alcohol on an empty stomach. While it’s better to avoid alcohol altogether, the holidays are a popular time to break open a bottle of champagne to celebrate family and friends. Instead of starting with the bubbly, save it for after your meal. Additionally, serve your alcoholic beverages in a tall skinny glass instead of a short wide glass. It will look more full, making you less tempted to drink more.
  5. Start with the healthy foods first. By the time the main course comes along, you won’t be as hungry. It’s better to fill yourself with vegetables and top off with some turkey, instead of the other way around.
  6. Keep away from the chips. If you see a bowl of munchies sitting out, make sure it is out of reach from where you are sitting. This makes it less tempting to mindlessly devour the entire bowl!
  7. Stick with your buddy. Whether it’s your spouse, your parent, or a friend, using the buddy system keeps you accountable for what’s on your plate. Have a plan: “We can each only have one slice of Aunt Karen’s cake. I know it’s tempting, but let’s keep each other accountable!”
  8. If you know you’ve already had enough to eat but it’s tempting to eat more, chew on some mint gum. Removing the tastes of the meal you just finished can remind you that you are full and you don’t need to eat more.
  9. After your meal, don’t just sit around and watch TV or take a nap. Instead, take the kids outside to play some basketball or help your aunt clean up the kitchen. Staying active after a meal helps you digest your food better than being a couch potato.
  10. Keep your eating occasion to the holiday, not the holiday season. It’s hard when you have extended family in town, but keeping your “unhealthy” eating days to a minimum will help you in the long run.
  11. Help your future self. Instead of eating whatever you want for the next 2 months and then saying you’ll lose it as a new years resolution, focus on maintaining where you are now and treating yourself occasionally! After all, we all know how crazy the gym is in January…
  12. Check yourself – try on your “goal” pants or dress once a week. Too tight? Too loose? Adjust your habits. Perfect fit? Keep it up!

We hope these tips are helpful for you to keep up with your healthy eating this holiday season! Which tips are your favorite? COMMENT!