9 Tips for Eating Light During the Holiday Party Season


‘Tis the season to be merry and stay fit and healthy! Read on for tips about how to prepare yourself for a healthy, fulfilling holiday season.

It’s easy to indulge this time of year at holiday feasts and company parties, and if you’ve been feeling less than motivated to exercise this time of year, you’re not alone.

However, maintaining healthy eating habits during the holidays doesn’t have to mean a season of deprivation. We talked to Kirsten Frederiksen, MD, program director of Renown Health’s Medical Weight Management program about tips to help you navigate the spread at gatherings. Read on for her advice to avoid tipping the scales this season, while curbing cravings and enjoying healthy holidays.

9 Tips for Healthier Holidays

  1. Don’t arrive to a holiday gathering on an empty stomach. People who skip meals on the day of a party tend to overindulge once they arrive. Eat a healthy breakfast and lunch, and if dinner will be served at the party, eat a snack before you go. And make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Being nourished and hydrated can soften your cravings and help you eat more moderately when faced with tempting holiday treats.
  2. Bring a healthy dish. Take matters into your own hands and ensure you have a delicious, nutritious food option. Bring a light salad or a lean protein. For a dessert option, try a crustless pie. It’s more than likely your host will appreciate the contribution.
  3. Work the room. Lingering near the buffet table can result in an evening of grazing on unhealthy eats. Instead, grab a sparkling water, circulate and chat. Scope out the table before diving in to ensure you make the best food choices and consume your calories wisely. Sit next to a fellow healthy eater.
  4. Use smaller plates and utensils to help with portion control. Eat slowly, chewing each bite multiple times.
  5. Indulge wisely. If you do have a drink, limit the amount. Alcohol contains quite a few calories and breaks down your inhibitions when it comes to food — drink too much and you’ll probably eat too much. You can cut your calories in half by alternating water or seltzer with your alcoholic beverages. Try pouring your drinks into tall, skinny glasses. You’ll pour less and drink less.
  6. Opt out of bread rolls. And reconsider multiple servings.
  7. Limit the treats. If you really want to indulge in higher sugar and salt options, take only three bites.
  8. Keep up the motivation. Done eating but feeling tempted? Go for a walk, help clean up, or introduce yourself to someone and strike up a conversation.
  9. Share the goodies. Dish out leftovers to guests or avoid taking them home if you are the guest.