5 Tips for Healthier Eating During the Holidays

During the holidays, trying to eat healthily can be a real challenge.  Some of us just try to power through with self-discipline, some of us think there is no point and decide to splurge and treat ourselves, some try to go without eating to make up for what they plan to eat for holiday dinners.  At Central Ozarks Medical Center, we understand that the struggle is real. With our focus on quality primary health care in Central Missouri and our commitment to leading the way to healthier communities, we thought now would be a good time to share some tips on healthy eating that can help you make it through the season. If you are interested in knowing 5 tips for healthier eating during the holidays, read on!

  1. Don’t Starve Yourself

Skipping meals to save calories before a holiday party is a popular strategy, but not always a successful one. Most of us will tend to overeat when we are extremely hungry.  It has been found that eating balanced meals along with small, healthy snacks in between meals can minimize your chances of sampling all the treats that will be in front of you for the next several weeks.  Some great examples of filling snacks are yogurt, nuts, fruit, and string cheese.    

2. Hydrate

Did you know that being dehydrated may make you feel hungrier?  It also causes fatigue which also causes many people to want to eat more.  So, make a point to drink plenty of water. It will also make you feel fuller, quicker at dinner time which is a double bonus.

3. Be Choosy

With all the dishes you will have to choose from during the holiday season, some are specialties you generally only get at this time of the year (like real stuffing and homemade pie).  Then there are other dishes that you can have any time of the year (like bread, corn, and mashed potatoes). You don’t actually have to take a little of everything.  It is OK to pick and choose the special dishes and opt for more of the vegetable and fruit salads that we don’t make all year round.  Be choosy about what you drink as well.  Opting for unsweet tea or water and skipping the egg nog and sugary drinks can make a huge difference.  Limiting your alcohol consumption will also reduce calories, and your urge to overeat.

4. Plan Time to Exercise

With a schedule full of events and festivities, finding time to exercise can be more difficult during the holidays.  Putting it on your calendar and planning to do it in the morning can be a great strategy for making it actually happen.  Mornings may be more feasible as your evening schedule is more likely to fill up with parties and socials.

5. Location, Location, Location

We tend to socialize at the table or near the buffet, but sometimes just relocating yourself to someplace in the room that is not within reaching distance of the food can keep you from constantly snacking.  Add activities that don’t involve being near food like going for a walk or throwing a football around in the yard. Anything you can do to break up the flow of hand-to-mouth feeding can help.

We wish you a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving in 2021!

We hope you find these tips helpful as you celebrate the holidays this year.  If you would like to be at a healthier weight but are struggling with how to get there, our primary doctors and nurse practitioners in Osage Beach, Camdenton, and Richland are there for you.  You can also find motivational guidance from therapists on our team of behavioral health care specialists at the Lake of the Ozarks.  For all your health, dental, and mental care needs, we are on your side. At Central Ozarks Medical Center, it is not just what we do, but how we do it that makes all the difference.  For more tips and information on health care in Central Missouri, be sure to follow us on our social media channels using the links below.

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