If you’re been working hard towards your weight loss goals (and totally crushing it), the upcoming holiday season may bring about some anxiety, with fears about whether or not you’ll be able to stay on track in light of all the temptations. The good news is, healthy holiday eating isn’t as challenging as you may imagine! Plus, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun or throw away your yummy holiday recipes!
In fact, there’s nothing wrong with indulging a little around the holidays. It’s simply good for your soul to mingle with others and even “get your bake on” during this magical time of year. That being said, there’s also nothing wrong with health-ifying a few of your favorite holiday dishes, so they taste just as amazing – but without all the guilt and calories.
Plus, as you’ll find out below, there’s plenty of ways to eat healthy at holiday parties, while still being able to sample your grandma’s famous sugar cookies, or the family eggnog recipe – without losing lightyears on the scale. We’re going to let you in on our top healthy holiday eating tips for success… So read on, and enjoy! There’s no reason you can’t enjoy this time of year, and still totally rock it in your holiday outfit by being a clean eating diva!
10 Tips For Healthy Holiday Eating
1) Shake up 1-2 meals per day
This is our #1 tip for eating healthy during the holidays – and it’s even more delicious than you may imagine. Meal replacement shakes such as 310 Shake are a majorly scrumptious way to get quality nutrients into your day, while enjoying a low-calorie, extremely satisfying meal (plus, did we mention it’s super-fast and easy?)
With seasonal shake recipes as good as this Chocolate Pumpkin Shake and this Apple Pie Shake, how can you go wrong? Check out a full list of phenomenal smoothie recipes here!
2) Calories still count
We’re not going to tell you that you can’t indulge at all during the holiday season, but the best way to not totally fall off the wagon is to still keep track of your daily calories. Use this handy calorie calculator tool to find out how many calories you should be eating each day (based on individual metrics like your height, weight, physical activity level and weight loss goals).
Then, it will be easy to figure out exactly how many calories you should eat per meal – and if you get a calorie-tracking app on your phone, all you have to do is insert the items you eat each day, and it will do the rest for you. Tip: Meal replacement shakes are an amazing way to stay on track since you already know the calorie count of the protein powder up front!
3) Enjoy healthier snacks
The surest way to lose control and start binge eating the plate of cookies near your office desk is to let yourself get too hungry between meals. The best way to control your appetite, instead, is to pre-plan with healthy yet yummy snacks. Make sure the snacks have good protein, fiber, and some healthy fat, so they sustain you.
Some great options include celery sticks with almond butter, Greek yogurt with berries, a handful of nuts and a small piece of fruit, or this low-carb, keto-friendly granola. Or, if you’re more in the mood for a refreshing or calming drink, these metabolism-boosting lemonades come in a variety of delicious flavors – and these detox teas help cleanse your body while suppressing your appetite.
4) Bake healthier
We get it… for some people, baking and the holidays simply go together – you just can’t enjoy one without the other. But if you’re the one doing the baking, it’s in your control, and you can make the choice to try out some healthy “ingredient swap” recipes. For instance, there are plenty of recipes using wholesome, clean ingredients (like protein powder instead of flour, Stevia instead of sugar, etc.) – which can make healthy eating around the holidays much easier.
The best part? You won’t miss out on taste, and you won’t feel like you’re missing out on seasonal baked goods! Try these Salted Caramel Protein Brownies or these Pumpkin Spice Protein Bars, plus check out more recipes ideas here.
5) Indulge a little (then hop back on track)
It’s totally okay to indulge a little on your favorite holiday treats during this season, but don’t get too carried away. Remember to focus on portion control and as often as possible, stay within your overall daily calorie goals.
In addition, since there are so many places of temptation around the holidays – don’t make your own kitchen one of them. You’ll feel much better about sampling that carb-heavy side dish at your work holiday party, or trying the coffee treat of the season at your local coffee shop if you make sure to stick to your clean diet the rest of the time.
6) Bring a healthier dish
Wondering how to eat healthy at holiday parties? It all starts with you! Think about some amazing, crowd-pleasing recipes, and then find much more wholesome ways to make them. Make sure they’re foods that contain lots of nutrients and are very filling, like these totally tasty salads, soups and casseroles, or these taco-stuffed zucchini boats! This way if there’s nothing else that is healthy to eat at the party, at least you know you can enjoy what you brought!
If you’re the host, even better! Prepare an entire spread of healthier dishes – you probably won’t realize how many grateful party attenders you’ll have that actually want the lighter fare.
7) Go easy on the alcohol
You’ve probably heard it said, don’t “drink your calories”, and this definitely applies when it comes to seasonal alcoholic beverages. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy one every now and then – just make it one, not three.
When you have a lot of alcohol, it actually increases your appetite, making it more likely that you’ll start going to town on the dessert tray. Not to mention that the most holiday drinks are usually chock full of sugar, artificial flavors, and lots and lots of calories.
8) Savor the moments first and foremost
Often we get so caught up in trying to avoid holiday calories, that we completely miss out on some memorable moments – which should be the focus of the season, after all. Instead of getting hung up on what you can or can’t eat, plan some active holiday-inspired activities, like watching a tree lighting, walking around to see holiday lights, or decorating some festive crafts.
9) Find “you time”
Although holiday season can definitely be one of the best times of the year, it can also be one of the most stressful times – especially if you’re trying to do way more than you can realistically do! First, assess your priorities versus your wants and make sure they’re in line with your overarching wellness goals.
Next, make sure you take time to yourself to get away and refocus – without all the noise of the season. Take a relaxing bath, or read a book – you’ll be amazed at how much more calm you feel when you have even just 10-15 extra minutes each day just for yourself!
10) Sweat out the stress
Another way to “take care of yourself” during this season and succeed with healthy holiday eating is to sweat out your stress with exercise, instead of with sugar and chocolate. Even just 30 minutes of exercise each day, from rocking it at the gym, to taking a walk on your lunch break, to chasing around your toddler can make a huge difference… not only in your waistline but in your level of mental happiness during this time of year.
Want more nutritionist-approved tips for staying healthy while living your best, most fulfilling life? Check out the 310 Community on Facebook and the 310 Nutrition Blog for the latest health topics, recipes and ideas to assist you on your health journey!