The holidays are a minefield when it comes to indulgent meals, flowing Champagne and skipped boot camp sessions. That’s why we checked in with three nutritionists for their must-have tip for a healthier holiday. Don’t worry, it’s not all salads and green juices.
Don’t Save Up for a Big Meal
When you know you’re going to have a big, delicious meal, it can be tempting to fast until then. According to Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN, “Saving up for the big meal can backfire. If your body is asking for a snack, you should listen—even if it's close to mealtime.” She suggests a snack like a serving of almonds and a serving of plain yogurt, which is “nutrient-rich, and will deliver fiber and heart-healthy fats that can bridge the gap between meals.”
Don’t Deprive Yourself
This habit can backfire too, per Nicolette Pace, registered dietician, chef and nutritionist. "Indulge and enjoy during the holidays, because if you don't, you'll end up overeating in the long run. This may sound like unusual nutrition advice, but if we don't eat what our body is craving, it will be on our minds and we tend to overeat—especially during the holiday season." The holidays are temporary, and a few extra servings of cookies or cabernet aren’t going to kill you.
Contribute Healthy Foods to Parties
“Planning ahead when possible is always of benefit, like bringing your own goodies to add to the festivities,” says Susan Piergeorge, MS, RDN, Nutrition Education Manager, Natural Vitality CALM and Rainbow Light. That way you know there are healthy options available alongside less virtuous ones. Piergeorge suggests a cheese or hummus platter with crackers or veggies, deviled eggs or mini quiches. To that we say, mmm.