Tasty Nutrition Tips For You To Navigate The Holiday Season Easily
In the blink of an eye, 2022 has come to an end. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and Christmas and New Year’s Eve are soon to follow.
When your dear family, friends, children, brothers, and sisters gather together to celebrate the harvest, thank nature, thank God for giving us abundant sunshine and nectar, letting the grain grow, and blessing us to pass another year safely, and at the same time , are you eating and drinking almost ‘everything’ on those festivals? Pile up your dinner plate with countless cornbread, pumpkin pie, cheese? Plus numerous glasses of wine by the way?
While getting great joy and emotional satisfaction, do you find yourself also gaining pounds of new weight in the next few days, or having no energy to continue the exercise you should have done that day? Don't feel down, we are all the same during the holiday season.
Keeping in shape and celebrating the holidays always seem to be contradictory. Facing one big meal after another in the tight holidays/weddings/parties, the last thing we dare to face may be the change in our body weight.
So, how to enjoy delicious food every day and maintain a healthy body at the same time? The key is to keep a healthy diet. Here, let us dig in the relationship between diet and health, and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle year-round.
What Is A Healthy Diet?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), consuming a healthy diet throughout the life-course helps to protect against malnutrition in all its forms, as well as noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
The exact make-up of a diversified, balanced and healthy diet will vary depending on individual characteristics (e.g. age, gender, lifestyle and degree of physical activity), cultural context, locally available foods and dietary customs. However, the basic principles of what constitutes a healthy diet remain the same.
Healthy Eating for A Healthy Weight
As shown above, a healthy eating plan that helps manage your weight should include a variety of healthy foods. Add an array of colors to your plate and think of it as eating the rainbow. Dark, leafy greens, oranges, and tomatoes - even fresh herbs - are loaded with vitamins, fiber, and minerals. Adding frozen peppers, broccoli, or onions to stews and omelets gives them a quick and convenient boost of color and nutrients.
In addition to the key eating plate recommendations, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020–2025 also provides several dietary principles to help you make decisions on nutrient-dense food and beverages.
(Examples of nutrient-dense choices compared to typical choices. By Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020–2025)
To conclude, the key principles are as below:
- Meet nutritional needs primarily from foods and beverages - a concept that has always been emphasized in the Dietary Guidelines.
- Choose a variety of options from each food group.
- Pay attention to portion size.
Tasty Nutrition Tips for the Holiday Season
1. When you face a spread of delicious holiday food, make healthy choices easier
As mentioned above, we need to pay more attention to the diversity and balance of food in our diet. And choose grains, vegetables, fruits, aquatic products, eggs, milk and dairy products, soybeans, nuts and other foods according to the optimal ratio.
Special notes from experts:
Nuts contain a variety of unsaturated fatty acids, minerals, vitamin E and B vitamins. So eating nuts in a proper portion is good for our health.
However, nuts are also high-energy foods, and it is recommended to consume about 10 grams (0.022 lbs) per day (the nut part). If the intake is excessive, attention should be paid to controlling the total energy intake.
In addition, it is best to choose plain nuts. Since more salt, sugar and oil are usually brought in during processing, you could pay attention to reading the nutrition label when purchasing nuts.
Finally, you can choose nuts in small independent packages according to consumption, which is convenient for storage and controls daily intake.
2. Have a small plate of the foods you like best and then move away from the buffet table
When we‘re in front of the buffet table, our hands can move faster than our brains. It's easy to get out of control and choose too many foods. So we recommend that you get yourself a relatively small plate to choose from at the very beginning.
When the variety of food served on holidays is more abundant, we better pay more attention to the grasp of food intake, and try to make sure that there are three meals and snacks in moderation. Avoid overeating and don't overwhelm your stomach.
3. Start with vegetables to take the edge off your appetite
During the holidays, there are relatively many dinner parties, so we should pay more attention to the combination of meat and vegetables. It is recommended to start with vegetarian food as much as possible when eating, and then serve yourself with meat and other foods.
Special notes from experts:
If you eat too much meat (protein), it will easily cause our body’s metabolic burden and even lead to symptoms such as high uric acid and gout.
In addition, long-term storage of frozen meat and aquatic products will lead to water loss and poor taste, so experts recommend buying in moderation and not hoarding those meats during the holidays.
Finally, experts recommend eating less fatty, smoked and cured meats.
According to the data from the experiment report, it takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to realize you're full. So, slowing down a little while eating can make it easier to "trick our brain" to achieve fullness feeling faster with less food.
5.Avoid or limit alcohol
Many people know that alcohol can lower blood sugar and interact with diabetes medicines. But they can't help having them, especially at parties or festivals. This is very common.
So, if you could not say ‘no’ to alcohol or alcoholic drinks, experts recommend having it with food instead of drinking with your stomach empty. And if you can avoid alcohol, then it is the perfect situation.
6.Get enough sleep
Going out more and staying out later often means cutting back on your sleep. Sleep loss can make it harder to manage your blood sugar, and when you’re sleep deprived you’ll tend to eat more and prefer high-fat, high-sugar food. And this would be a vicious circle.
Therefore, we recommend you aim for 7 to 8 hours per night to guard against mindless eating. Most of all, don’t forget what this holiday season is about celebrating and connecting with the people you care about. When you focus more on the fun, it’s easier to focus less on the food.
You’ve got a lot on your plate this time or next time of year. And keeping active is your secret holiday weapon. Whenever you get the chance, get moving with your friends and family. Even taking a short walk after a holiday meal will help reduce stress during this most stressful time of year.
8.Step on your scale
After you allow yourself a wild moment at some important festival or party, don't forget to continue to step on your smart body fat scales (whether it’s a 4 electrode scale, or 8 electrode scale) every day. You don't need to be analyzing the data it shows you constantly. But just get the insights about how you’re doing and remind yourself of the targets you would like to hit.
As said, the holidays are an opportunity to enjoy festivities with family and friends. We’re wishing you tons of laughter as you make new memories with your loved ones.
And if you could manage to keep things relatively balanced, and be mindful of the nutrition choices you are making to keep them in line with your goals, then you could navigate those big moments with ease!!