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Snack Hacks for Healthy Holiday Eating

Snack Hacks for Healthy Holiday Eating?noresize

The holiday season has begun and for many people, this can present a tough challenge to the hard work they've put into creating a healthy lifestyle. A new poll has revealed that 85 percent of Americans overeat during the holidays, and two-thirds admit to feeling uncomfortable after meals from eating too much. While there’s nothing wrong in enjoying an extra helping of roast turkey, continuously overindulging in food and alcoholic drinks can lead to weight gain, and it can even worsen preexisting health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. To keep healthy and feel good during the festive season, it’s important to be aware of your food choices and portions no matter what’s on the table. If practicing self-control is always a challenge during this time of year, here are some smart hacks to eat healthfully during the holidays. 

Have a snack before going to a party

Most people think that going to a party on an empty stomach is a good idea. However, this isn’t the case as it’s easy to overeat when you’re famished, so it’s a good idea to have a light snack before you leave. Two hours before your company Christmas party or a family reunion, eat a light snack that contains protein, fiber, and heart healthy fats, such as an apple and a few pieces of 2% cheese, a banana with a spoonful of nut butter, or some carrot or celery sticks dipped in hummus. The combination will curb your hunger, and snacking beforehand will help you make better food decisions throughout the event.

Eat the veggies first

It’s easy to go for the meat or cheese-filled dishes when you’re at a party, but if you’redetermined to make healthy food choices, try eating the veggies first. Go ahead and fill your plate with brusselz sprouts, sweet potatoes, spinach, or make a small salad will all the fresh veggies available and eat that first before moving on to other dishes. Veggies contain fiber that helps you to feel full, so you’re less likely to over indulge. Moreover, vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that can keep you well during the winter months, so place a generous helping of greens and root veggies on your plate to be at your best during the holidays.

Take a walk

After eating a great holiday meal, most people will instinctively seek out a comfortable spot where they can take a nap, or head for the couch where they can watch an episode or two of their favorite TV series. Doing this can be relaxing, but inactivity after eating increases the risk of indigestion. To get rid of that bloated feeling, try taking a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood after eating. Going for a walk can be good for you, especially if you are at risk for type 2 diabetes. A study has shown that older adults who took a 15-minute walk on a treadmill had smaller and fewer blood sugar spikes afterwards, so make walking a habit after each meal. Moreover, walking keeps you fit as any form of exercise is essential for muscle growth and improved strength. Having strong muscles are important to reduce the risks of injury and for improved balance. Eating healthfully and incorporating physical activity, are essential if you want to be in good shape during the holiday season and throughout the rest of the year.  

Enjoy your food

Holiday eating can make one feel guilty, but there’s no reason to feel badly during one of the most joyous times of the year. Living a healthy lifestyle is all about balance.  Go on and savor that slice of cake or top your pie with a scoop of ice cream. Don’t deprive yourself, as it can backfire later and lead to bingeing on other foods.

By making smart food choices, strategic eating, and making time for a bit of physical activity, you can enjoy the holiday season without sacrificing your health and wellness. 

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