Healthy Eating Tips For Christmas Dinner

by Connecting Hope on Dec 18, 2021

Healthy Eating Tips For Christmas Dinner

When it comes to Christmas dinner, too many Americans break out the stretchy pants and get ready to put a couple new holes in their belt. After all, Thanksgiving is done with and Christmas only comes once a year, so why shouldn’t you splurge? 

But while a mild indulgence in turkey, dressing, and desserts is not a problem, you still can attempt to stay healthy with some of our holiday eating tips. 

1. Eat Light Earlier And Don’t Come Hungry

One of the biggest problems with Christmas gatherings is the temptation of food. The year-long wait for the holidays combines with a family-packed cooking schedule that fills the house with the smell of tasty dishes and various Christmas dinner sides. While you might think it makes sense to save up calories for the big meal, experts say eating a small meal in the morning can give you more control over your appetite. Start your day with a small but satisfying breakfast -- such as an egg with a slice of whole-wheat toast, or a bowl of whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk -- so you won’t be starving when you arrive at the gathering.

2. Watch Your Portions

When the traditional Christmas dinner table is ready to go and the veritable spread is unveiled, it’s time to be aware of what you’re putting on your plate. Before you fill your plate, survey the table and decide what you’re going to choose. Then select reasonable-sized portions of foods you cannot live without.

Don’t waste your calories on foods that you can have all year long. Fill your plate with small portions of holiday favorites that only come around once a year so you can enjoy desirable, traditional foods.

White turkey meat, plain vegetables, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and thin gravy tend to be the best bets because they are lower in fat and calories. Avoid heavy eggnog if you can. However, if you keep your portions small, you can enjoy whatever you like.

3. Skip Seconds

Try to resist the temptation to go back for second helpings. Leftovers are much better the next day, and if you limit yourself to one plate, you are less likely to overeat and have more room for a delectable dessert. Try to go with a respectable-sized first plate versus two large sized plates.

4. Be Sure To Eat Your Vegetables

A good rule for filling up your plate at any kind of buffet or large meal is to go heavy on vegetables. If you can, choose an array of fresh, grilled, or roasted vegetables like beets, carrots, Brussels sprouts, or cauliflower. If you know ahead of time that the Christmas dinner you’re attending will not have veggies, offer to bring a dish of your own.

5. Stay Active – Before And After

Either early in the morning or once you've finished eating, consider taking a refreshing stroll outside or playing a game of football in the yard. If you live or are staying nearby, you could also walk or take public transportation home. This helps burn calories as well as aid in family together-ness time.

6. Creating Family Tradition at Christmas Dinner 

One of the most important aspects of Christmas is to have fun and stay positive. This is a holiday of family, giving and togetherness with sharing and gathering around Christmas decorations a core concept. Creating family traditions can inspire positive feelings and memories that family members can share. Try suggesting games to play, special recipes and dishes to share, or fun activities that everyone can participate in. Sharing your highs and lows of the year and talking about ways to finish the year strong - some things you can do to finish the year ready to start fresh. 

Our Let’s catch Unfinished Business! Journals are perfect as a gift to share with your family and write down different ways to finish 2021 on a high note - from congratulating each other for every successes to sharing your regrets for the year (with family support waiting) to clearing out your space, cleaning up your phone and more. 

ConnectingHope’s December 2021 Let’s Close to Open theme collection will help you and your family stay motivated and positive through this healthy family tradition on Christmas day!

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