3 Eating Tips to a Healthier Holiday Season

Last updated: November 2022

The holidays can easily be viewed as a pass to ditch your healthy eating habits and indulge in all the goodies. While the foods taste good in the moment, they have much more lasting effects on our health that aren’t as enjoyable.

Living with a chronic illness like endometriosis, I always want to fuel my body with foods that will improve health, not detract from it.

Healthy holiday eating strategies

Here are three eating tips that I try to follow during the holiday season. I’m always a work in progress, and no day is ever perfect, but I find setting my intentions and creating a plan to help set me up for success.

Eat well during the week

What you eat the majority of the time is what builds your health. So the more you can maintain healthy eating habits during the week and anytime outside of holiday gatherings, the better you’ll be.

I know it’s an extremely slippery slope when I start bringing holiday foods into my kitchen “just because” it’s that time of year. I have the best intentions of having portion-controlled servings, but we all know how that often goes!

So, save the holiday food for family gatherings and keep your kitchen looking the same as it does throughout the rest of the year.

Don't arrive hungry

Just like we don’t want to arrive at the grocery store hungry, we also don’t want to arrive at a holiday party hungry. When you’re hungry, you’re far less likely to make good choices about what goes on your plate.

People who skip breakfast, for example, on Thanksgiving Day, are far more likely to overeat at their turkey dinner than those with a balanced breakfast and lunch.

So just as we’re focusing on maintaining your normal eating routine during the week, be sure to do it on the day of a holiday gathering.

If I find myself extra hungry shortly before attending a holiday party, I grab a small bite to take the edge off the hunger.

This is often a piece of fruit like an apple, some raw veggies like baby carrots, or a small portion of any leftovers I have in the fridge. It’s quick, simple, and does the trick!

Bring your own dish

If you have food allergies like me, attending a holiday gathering at someone’s home can be a little nerve-racking because you don’t know what ingredients they’ve used and if it’s safe to eat.

But let’s even set allergies aside for a moment. We don’t often know the menu of food that will be served at a party.

That’s why it can be helpful to bring a dish you know you can eat and one that puts something healthy on your plate. This can be a big salad, a pot of soup or chili, some side dishes, or even a veggie spread for an appetizer.

It doesn’t have to be the only food you eat at the gathering, but it can help balance out the plate for you a bit and admit the other holiday dishes.

What do you find to be helpful in eating well during the holiday season? Please share below so we can learn from you as well!

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