Tips for Navigating Holiday Food and Feasts

Dec 20, 2022

 by Abby McCoid

Not gonna lie, you guys- one of my very favorite parts of the holiday season is the food. My mom is an incredible cook, my little sister has been texting me pictures of the gourmet cookies she and her daughter have been baking and my cheesecake? Chef’s kiss. 

We all have a different relationship with food and various goals in our health and fitness. Depending on what yours are, navigating in nutrition during the holidays may or may not be something on your mind. If it is, I want to share some tips that will help you to navigate this territory.

  1. Set your intention. If you usually overeat and would like to do things differently this year, make up your mind to do it and use these tips to help.
  2. Don’t starve yourself until the big meal. “Saving up” calories can lead to binging. Have a good protein-rich breakfast, instead. 
  3. Prioritize protein and veggies. Even at a holiday meal, there will be ham or turkey- prime rib if you’re fancy! Serve yourself at least a palm-sized serving and a generous helping of vegetables. Then include the breads and starches you want to enjoy!
  4. Eat mindfully. Take time to savor your food. Take part in the conversation at the table. Try matching the pace of the slowest eater at the table. 
  5. Move away from the buffet. Fill your plate with what you want to eat and GET AWAY FROM THE FOOD. It’s easy to continue to mindlessly grab a bite of this and a handful of that. Holiday food tends to be extra easy to eat and extra loaded with calories. Those little bites can add up to a lot of extra. 
  6. Indulge in the deserts you really love. Eat just the ones you know you’ll enjoy, that are really worth it. Want more than one? Eat smaller pieces. Enjoy!
  7. Consider drinking fewer alcoholic beverages. Try drinking a glass of water after each beer or cocktail. Alcohol is loaded with calories and we’re more likely to overeat when we’re tipsy.
  8. Do something active after dinner. Go for a little chilly stroll or play a game with family. 

Most of all, enjoy yourself. If you overindulge, it won’t wreck your progress or derail your fitness goals. You can get right back on track tomorrow!

Have a wonderful holiday season!