The holiday season is approaching and along with it comes Christmas dinners, late night parties and celebrations with friends and family. This time of the year can be very difficult to follow your diet plan or even just eat healthy. There are a few things you can do though to try and combat all the Christmas cake and sweet treats. Follow these tips for a healthy holiday season.

Eat healthy meals throughout the day instead of skipping them

When it comes to saving calories during the holidays, skipping meals can backfire. Daily meals should include breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

When you skip meals, you are likely to overeat at the next meal and less likely to choose healthier foods. It may even mean eating a healthy high-fibre snack before the party so that you aren’t ravenous when you arrive at the party, where you might overindulge.

Drinking a glass or two of water before eating may also help with fullness.

If you are attending a party, bring a healthy dish with you

Bringing a healthy dish to the party ensures you have at least one healthy option at the party. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, simply a fruit or vegetable tray will do.

Make sure you stick to the one plate rule (not one heaping plate!)

Sticking to the one plate rule means you have the opportunity to try different foods but don’t get to go back for seconds or thirds. Try to fill Β½ of your plate with vegetables, fruit, or green salad. Eating slower can help with only having one plate as it takes about 20 minutes for our brain to register that we have started to eat.

Have fun instead of focusing on food

Spending time with family and friends is what the holidays are all about. Take advantage of the holiday season, but don’t fall victim to the “eat and be merry” mentality. Consider taking a break from the buffet table and enjoying the conversation and company of others, or engaging in a holiday activity that doesn’t involve food.

Keep liquid calories to a minimum

Food gives us more satisfaction/fullness than liquid. If you’re thirsty, try low-calorie options such as water with lemon or lime slices or soda water flavoured with 100% juice.

A lot of holiday drinks contain high calorie content, such as eggnog, hot chocolate, cider, and alcohol. Approximately 220 calories are contained in one cup of eggnog!

Likewise, avoiding alcohol or excess amounts can be helpful since our inhibitions might be impaired and we may make less nutritious choices.