5 Tips to Eat Healthy During the Holidays

During the holiday season, everyone seems to be in the spirit of cooking and baking. After all, aren’t the holidays about great friends, good food and celebration? While many people give themselves a free pass to enjoy all of their favorite festive treats, many want to ensure those extra pounds don’t add up! You don’t need to deprive yourself of all the baked goods and tantalizing food, instead, you can be smart about your choices and find ways to eat healthier!

“Fitness and proper nutrition can decrease over the holidays,” says Jennifer Petschko, Registered Dietitian of Kendal® on Hudson, the only true Life Care community in Westchester County. “Whether you’re simply too busy, are traveling or are just too tempted, it can be easy for healthy eating to fall by the wayside. This creates a bad habit that can sometimes last far beyond the holidays. To combat this, eating healthy and exercising is important.”

Tips for Healthy Eating During the Holidays

Try some of our tips and tricks to keep your holidays sweet, your body fit and your nutritional habits intact.

Eat a small nutritious meal before holiday dinners.

When heading to a holiday dinner, especially one that is at a different time than you’d normally eat, eat a small healthy meal or snack. This can help to fill you up just enough to ensure you don’t overeat and help you to make healthier choices when you do eat.

Make a healthy dish to take along.

When you’re invited to a dinner, ask what you can bring to help out or offer to make a nutritious side to go along with the meal. This will allow you to eat a healthy side that you like, while being a help to the host or hostess.

Before getting seconds, wait a bit.

Drink some water, chat with friends and family and enjoy the company. Often, it takes a bit for the body to process that it’s full. By taking seconds right away you risk overeating, adding up extra unneeded calories or wasting food you don’t have room for. If you’re still hungry after 10 minutes, take smaller portions and try to stay away from too many carbohydrates, like bread and potatoes.

Watch your alcohol intake.

If you are going to an event where there will be alcohol, be sure to eat a healthy snack or meal before partaking. Alcohol on an empty stomach can increase your appetite and can make it harder to eat healthier choices when a meal does come.

Don’t do any kind of shopping when hungry.

Are you headed to the grocery store for holiday meal prep? Have a snack before you go to decrease the risks of impulse buys and fast food stops. Are you and a friend taking a trip downtown or to the mall for holiday shopping? Consider eating a healthy meal before you go so you aren’t tempted by the food shops in the mall. We all know how tempting the smell of those delicious cinnamon rolls can be!

If you generally eat healthy and keep up your exercise routine, it can be ok to indulge. It’s just important to not go all out and cause negative habits to form. If you do overindulge and in turn start to feel worn down and poor, try to sneak in a walk before or after a meal, exercise before your friends and family wake up, or simply stroll around the shops for a little longer than you need. Little changes can make a big difference in health around the holidays!

For more information about keeping a healthy routine around the holidays, or to learn more about how Kendal on Hudson can make the season bright and healthy, contact us. We would be happy to share information about our delicious dining, fitness programs and more. Simply call to schedule your visit today at 914-922-1000.

Together, Transforming the Experience of Aging.®

Founded on Quaker principles and guided by our values and practices, Kendal® on Hudson provides a vibrant, active and social senior lifestyle on our 25-acre campus next to the historic Hudson River. As the only Lifecare community in Westchester County, we offer four levels of service for our residents: Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Support and Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Services.

Kendal on Hudson is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization led by a volunteer Board of Directors. Kendal on Hudson is an affiliate of The Kendal Corporation, a system of communities and services for older people based in Kennett Square, PA. We support diversity, inclusiveness, and independence and support the values and practices of Kendal by remaining focused on healthy aging. Located in Sleepy Hollow, New York, just 35 miles from New York City, we offer a vibrant lifestyle, cultural programs, continued learning and health care for life.

For more information, please call 914-922-1000.