Eat Empowered, Healthy Eating Tips

How to Eat Healthy at a Holiday Meal


So you wanna learn how to eat healthy so you don’t have to unbutton your pants at the table this year. I get it.

It’s almost become an accepted way of life that a huge holiday meal equals planning to stuff yourself, then actually stuffing yourself, then beating yourself up for stuffing yourself.

What if this year could be different?

What if this year you planned on enjoying your favorite holiday foods, actually enjoyed the holiday foods in an empowered manner, and then congratulated yourself for enjoying the holiday foods and ending the day feeling great about yourself?

Guess what? It’s not as hard as you think.

Learning how to eat healthy is a skill that takes practice, but you have to decide to do the work. And what better time than now?

I want you to enjoy the holidays this year, and ring in the new year in your same pant size. How great will it be to not vow to lose 10 pounds this year come January, because you never gained them?!

There are 5 rules to holiday eating that I always share with my clients, and I’m sharing them with you today.

How to Eat Healthy at a Holiday Meal

1. Be a Wo/Man with a Plan. Before you embark on your Thanksgiving or Christmas or Hanukkah or any holiday day, take a minute to decide what you are going to eat, indulge in or taste. If you take a few moments before you begin to really think and plan, you will set yourself up to be successful. Sometimes a little planning is all you need to get you through the day enjoying your meal and feeling good too!

2. Take Control with a little Portion Control. Remember to load up on the cleanest cooked vegetables available, salad and turkey breast, ham, or whatever lean protein is served. Limit the sides and desserts. Choose 2 tablespoons of 2 decadent sides to indulge in and keep the rest of your plate green and lean! Of course, you should enjoy your meal, but get the leftovers out of the house and definitely do not take a doggie bag home. Removing tempting indulgences will help you get back to your Nutritious Life as soon as the holiday is over.

3. Drink Up Up Up! Unwanted calories from beverages can undermine your work. Have a full glass of water or seltzer (with lemon) before the meal and match each glass of wine with a glass of water. Avoid the eggnog and fancy coffee drinks – those calories take the worst revenge and can plump you up in no time. End your meal with an herbal tea instead.

4. Choose the Most Nutrient Dense Foods. Roasted chestnuts, a tablespoon of cranberries, roasted root vegetables, turkey breast, and a spoonful of winter squash are loaded with nutrition! Make sure you are getting these powerhouses in, in place of the stuffing, mashed potatoes and corn bread, which may be less healthful. Making these nutritious choices on the holiday will have you feeling proud and inspired to make better choices the day after and beyond.

5. Get Up and Go. Do the best you can to move during the day! If it’s snowing outside, build an enormous snowman or have a super competitive snowball fight. If the weather is nice outdoors, rally the family for a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood or a game of touch football. If you’re stuck inside, try a competitive karaoke session with mandatory dance moves or teach your family their first yoga sequence. If all else fails, just offer to chase around after the little ones, since they never can sit still. Their very tired parents will thank you.

Remember: Listen to your body! Stop eating when you are slightly satisfied even if it seems to go against the spirit of “stuffing” on Thanksgiving or Ho Ho Ho-ing on Christmas. ENJOY your holiday. It is one meal that should be cherished and celebrated.

Keep your Nutritious Life in the forefront of your mind and best of luck with your holiday efforts!