Top Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating

Nov 05

November has arrived.  And with it comes a slew of holidays, parties, and rich, fatty foods.  All of this extra temptation often leads to overindulgence, bloating, and the dreaded weight gain.  In order to avoid those extra pounds between now and next spring here are a few tips for healthy holiday eating.

1. Eat breakfast:  Truly the most important meal of the day, eating a high protein, high fiber breakfast can help keep your blood sugar stable.  This in turn helps you not overeat later in the day.

2. Don’t Starve:  Often we’re tempted to skip meals before the party.  That just leaves us metabolically unstable and more prone to less desirable choices.  Eat healthy, balancing meals and have just one or two treats at the party, not all of them.

3. Eat slowly:  Be aware of what you are eating and enjoy it.  Parties are supposed to be about time with family and friends, not mindless munching.  After all if you can’t remember that you ate it what’s the point?

4.  Size matters:  If they are available choose smaller plates.  Since we often finish what’s on our plate why not start with a small one.  This can help youhave more control over how much you eat.

5. Beware of buffets: Just a little bit of everything on a buffet line adds up to far more than we realized.  Walk through the line one time to see what’s there and then choose only those foods you really want to eat.  You’ll enjoy it more and you won’t be as tempted to overindulge.

6. Share the wealth:  During the holidays we are often the recipient of gifts of chocolate, candy, cookies, alcohol, and other highly caloric treats.  Pass them on, either by bringing them as a hostess gift to another gathering, or with office mates.  This helps to remove the temptation and allows you to share the holiday spirit.

7. Stay active:  The days get shorter, it gets dark earlier, the weather often doesn’t cooperate.  This, combined with a hectic holiday schedule often gives us the opportunity to make excuses to not exercise.  However lack of exercise plus unhealthy eating choices tends to lead to even more weight gain.  If you have a plan for exercising, stick with it, you’ll be glad you did.  If you don’t have one, now would be a great time to start.

With a little thinking ahead and careful planning you can successfully make it through the holiday season without regret.  Happy Holidays and be well.


Mira Dessy is a Certified Nutrition Educator, a Real Food Advocate, and the author of The Pantry Principle: how to read the label and understand what’s really in your food.  Learn more about her at