Tags: DigIn, DigIn21, MayJune, Magazine, DigInMagazine, healthy recipes, healthy options

Maintaining Change During Celebrations

Author: be well™ with Big Y® Registered Dietitian Team

Did you recently update your eating behaviors?

Here are our tips for staying healthy throughout the holiday season.

Between school recitals, office potlucks, traveling to family and hosting holiday festivities, it's easy to see why many let their healthy eating go by the wayside. This holiday season, have your fruit cake and eat it too!


1. Make a Plan.

This is a great practice for any time you take part in social gatherings centered around food. Think about these four questions:

  • What are you going to eat when you’re there?
  • If overeating is an issue, how are you going to nip it in the bud (e.g.: eat beforehand)?
  • What works when you’re home (e.g.: snacks)?
  • How can you make these same choices when traveling away from home?


2. Control What is Offered.

If you’re the host, take advantage. Offer a number of healthful options to choose from (e.g.: leafy green salad, whole grain pasta baked with colorful vegetables and less cheese than usual and sugar-free bubbly water)!


3. Enjoy Yourself.

Following a healthful meal plan shouldn’t feel like being on a diet. Stop yourself from saying (and thinking) “Oh no, I can’t have that. It will ruin my diet.” To eat healthy is to enjoy all foods. Every little food choice isn’t important—how these choices stack up overall makes the difference. One annual family holiday dinner isn’t going to hurt the progress you’ve made. Enjoy the food today and continue with your normal, everyday meal plan once the event is over.


4. Indulge Sensibly.

After attending parties, if you notice indulging is becoming your normal way of eating, bring yourself back to center. Return to planning and practicing. Plan on eating a snack before attending future celebrations. A low-sugar snack with fiber, combined with a source of protein and a little bit of fat will do wonders for a hungry appetite. Try it! Once hunger is satisfied, even a little, you will find “tastes” are just that—small servings to enjoy flavors rather than to fill an appetite.

Reviewed 6/22/2023