Healthy Holiday Tips: How to De-stress and Eat Less

Buffet at holiday party

Holiday Stress is often related to what we eat. Melanie Wells RD, LD, with Roper St. Francis discusses healthy holiday tips for diet & stress relief.

Holidays and stress. Sometimes these two go side by side. Food just seems to add to the stress of the holidays. Instead of enjoying family and friends, people are stressed out about gaining weight. Try these tips and tricks to avoid overeating around the holidays.

  1. Holiday parties and meals = buffet serving style. What does this mean for you? Too many choices. Try to stick with a smaller plate, and fill half the plate with fruits and veggies. Fill the other half with your favorite holiday foods. This will still give you a taste of the foods you love, but hopefully keep you from overindulging in those high calorie foods.
  2. Deciding between multiple meats? Choose lean meats such as turkey and chicken. Stick to the baked or grilled meats rather than the fried.
  3. What about all of those side items? If you are deciding what to bring to the feast, skip the marshmallows on your sweet potato side. Put a healthy spin on all of your holiday favorites. Visit this website for some great holiday recipe ideas.
  4. The day of the holiday, do NOT skip any meals in preparation for the feast. Skipping meals leads to hunger which in turn leads to eating way too much and feeling uncomfortable on the couch. Eat three meals the day of the feast just like you would any other day.
  5. Holiday focus = people, NOT food. Focus on your friends and family at the holidays. Take a walk around the block in the middle of the day. Sip on a low calorie beverage and socialize. Instead of spending time next to the buffet grazing on food, make the focus of your day catching up with friends and family.

Remember, holidays are a time for celebrating the people in your life. De-stress and eat less. You can still have your favorite holiday foods, just keep in mind that a taste of that food is better than a whole plate. Happy Holidays!

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By Melanie Wells RD, LD, clinical dietitian with Morrison Healthcare at Roper St. Francis

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