The holidays are fast approaching and before you know it you’ll be waking up to the dawn of a New Year. Recognizing that the last thing you will want is to make your New Year’s health resolution more difficult to start, attain and manage, the best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to carry out the old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Set yourself up for success! Start now by staying food savvy, realize your holiday eating habits and focus on the dining experience rather than gorging on multiple plates of food. “It’s all about give and take,” says Lt. Cmdr. Amit Sood, OPNAV N17 Dietitian. “Know yourself, realize that if you tend to enjoy meal times a bit more during the holidays, either watch your portions or balance your intake with a little more physical activity time, perhaps with the family or with those close to you.”
Here are 5 simple strategies and tips for staying healthy and resilient through the holidays:
- Don’t shop hungry! Grocery shopping when you’re hungry can lead you to buy those unhealthy foods you crave instead of opting for the healthier choices.
- During meal times, serve a generous portion of veggies first (fresh and/or cooked), then the main entrée with the sides and keep room for fruit as dessert.
- At parties or potlucks, savor a bite or two of every food item by making a ‘sampler’ style plate instead of piling up the plate with just one or two of your favorite items.
- Don’t starve yourself for that large meal later on! Snack on nutrient packed veggies and fruit (fresh, dried, canned, etc.) throughout the day so that you’ll be less likely to overeat during evening meal times.
- Incorporate a 20 minute walk with your family each evening.
These strategies can help you thrive during the holidays and reduce unwanted post-holiday stress.
For more tips and strategies visit:
- Navy Nutrition Resources has several resources that can help you stay energized during the holidays and curb the negative impact to your body—and mind.
- Navy Operational Fueling Series outlines how to choose the right foods and portions—something we can all do a better job at during the holidays!
- Eatright.org Holiday Eating has several articles on eating healthy during the holidays.