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Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays


With the holidays just around the corner everything about the world sees a little more magical and fattening. How is a mom supposed to stay healthy when the whole country practically encourages gluttony from Thanksgiving to New Years? Christmas cookies, giant turkeys, stuffing (my favorite), egg nog (not my favorite), and more are waiting for consumption and since us moms are the ones who make the food and put it away, we may end up sampling a little more than everyone else. I almost forgot all of our kids left over Halloween candy! Yummy.

With all those treats a couple of extra pounds are only a few weeks away. Then of course we mama’s will want to be swimsuit ready by summer. Losing weight is so hard! It’s easier to prevent the weight than to lose weight. The trick is to give yourself the treats without going overboard. Here are a few tips to keep yourself from gaining several pounds over the holidays:

Count Calories with an App

I’m not suggesting you count your calories all year long, but counting calories makes you aware of what and how much you are eating. Awareness alone is often enough to help you navigate holiday food. Definitely indulge a little but remember – you can lie to yourself but not to your scale. If you try to cheat by not counting every cookie or chocolate, the scale will tattle on you.


Buy More Fruit and Veggies

I don’t know about you, but if I get hungry for a snack late at night, I do not want to leave the house and go get something out of sheer laziness. If you buy healthy food – remember, not to go to the grocery store hungry – then when it’s night time you will not have unhealthy options available. Buy the good stuff and leave the bad stuff at the store. Try to fill your cart from the outer edges of the grocery store and not the inside aisles. But do not forget coffee. Definitely venture into the middle of the store for coffee.

I go the extra mile and make sure I buy my kids sweets I can’t stand. I buy cookies and ice cream I do not eat to avoid snacking on their stuff. Halloween candy is an issue though. Avoid buying the kids too many snacks though too. Holidays come with plenty of sweets. For the holiday season, buy the kids snacks like peanut butter crackers, string cheese, and fruit to eat when they come in from school or playing outside.


Add a Little Healthy to Your Cookies

Being healthy does not mean giving up cookies. Just be cookie smart. Try adding a few healthy ingredients to your cookies and cakes. For example: flaxseed is full of omegas, fiber, and vitamins and has delicate nutty flavor. Mix a couple of tablespoons in with your cookies, pancakes, cakes, and other baked treats. All you need to do is take out a couple tablespoons of flour and replace with the flaxseed.

Mix other ingredients for a bit of a healthier dessert. Try adding in oats (or make no bake cookies with oats!), chia seeds, almonds, use coconut oil instead of canola or vegetable oil. Use partial wheat flour instead of all white flour for a little extra fiber. Finally, you can add in applesauce instead of oil.

Give Up Soda for the Season

I’m not suggesting you give up all drinks but if you plan on eating a lot calories over the holidays, maybe you don’t drink and eat your calories. Give up the sugary sodas. Did you know one serving of Coke has 39 grams of sugar? That’s 78% of your daily sugar in one 12 ounce soda! Ouch!

For the holidays, go soda free. Or maybe if you are a coffee fiend like me, stop making trips to Starbucks. Eating your calories is much healthier than most drinks are empty or sugary calories. Even a cup of juice can be an overwhelming amount of sugar. It’s better to eat the fruit so you are only getting the sugar from one piece of fruit instead sugar from ten pieces of fruit. Watch out for alcoholic beverages also as they are full of calories too.

Eat Three-Two-One Plates

The last tip for not packing on the pounds during the holidays is to follow the Three-Two-One Plate rule. It’s a simple rule – three parts of your plate should be veggies, two parts of your plate should be meat – one part of your plate should be sides. Even better, eat all your veggies first – just like we tell our kids to do – and you may find you do not have enough room for all the sides and meats.

Dieting over the holidays is an unachievable task for most people – me included. If you follow these tips, you won’t need to diet! If you have any tips of your own please share!

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