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facebook___658By Terri Mendoza and Kristen Sedler

The holidays are fast approaching, and, like most people, I’m looking forward to enjoying some of my favorite foods that I look forward to all year—eggnog, anyone?  While I know it’s okay to enjoy myself, it’s also important to be mindful and remember to have these treats in moderation. Overindulging can often lead to feelings of guilt or regret (and that doesn’t make for an enjoyable holiday season!), so here are some tips so you can have your gingerbread cookie and eat it, too!

  1. Don’t treat the holidays like a free for all. Many people head into the holidays with the idea that they will eat whatever they want this time of year. Then they think that once January comes around, they’ll begin to eat a healthier diet and be more active.  But not overindulging now is a better strategy than trying to follow through on New Year’s resolutions.  
  1. Balance is key. Filling up on nutritious foods can help keep your portions of dishes that are higher in fat and sugar in check.  A good rule of thumb is to fill at least half your plate with vegetables and fruit, and the other half with foods you have been looking forward to enjoying.  Try this delicious vegetable recipe this holiday season:

Herb Roasted Carrots

 

  1. Switch out high-calorie items for something lower in calories. Are you ready to substitute some ingredients to make your favorite recipes lighter? Try this cauliflower recipe instead of potatoes:

Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” 

 

  1. Practice mindful eating. We are all guilty of eating so much during the holidays that we need to loosen our waistbands or lie down. Check out this hunger scale to help you learn to slow down your eating and listen to your body’s cues.  Remember, you can always enjoy leftovers another time! 
  1. Try not to skip meals. Skipping meals to save room later often ends up backfiring, since you’re likely to eat too much when you’re over hungry. It’s best to have regular, healthy meals throughout the day so you won’t feel like eating everything in sight when it comes to a party or festive meal.

Lastly, food is delicious and no one should feel guilty after eating it. Enjoy the foods you love within a balanced diet. Happy holidays! 

Kristen Sedler is a Dietetic Intern at Simmons University.

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