Why Christmas Can Be Healthy: Tips for Healthy Food Habits this Holiday Season

Make Christmas Healthy
Credit: Ethan Miller / Staff/ Getty

Christmas is a time of friends, family, and food. Many people celebrate the holiday throughout the month of December, including on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. The problem is that about a third of people underestimate how they eat during the holiday season. Luckily, there is plenty you can do to keep your healthy food habits throughout the Christmas season.

The average person will consume 7,000 calories from eating and drinking on Christmas Day. For instance, there are a lot of deep-fried appetizers, high-calorie and high-fat dips, delicate cheese platters, Christmas hams, cake and puddings, roast dinners, and lots of alcohol. Also, chocolates are easy gifts for loved ones at Christmastime.

Needless to say, it is easy to pack on the weight without realizing you are doing so. It is important to be mindful of your drinking and eating during the holidays.

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Tips for Staying Healthy During Christmas Season

There are several tips to help you consume more healthy foods around the holiday season. For starters, a portion-controlled diet with low-calorie foods around the holidays can help you avoid overeating and over-drinking, and, therefore, prevent you from gaining weight. It is a good idea to eat clean and serve clean and organic whole foods around the holiday.

Think about serving vegetable and fruit plates and a variety of salads that include fresh vegetables and whole foods like broccoli, chickpeas, cauliflower, and cashews. This method will replace store-bought appetizers that often are served at holiday parties.

Here are a few more tips to help you stay healthy at the holidays.

Stick to Your Healthy Routine: It is important to keep your healthy routine around the holidays. Late nights celebrating the holidays may give you reason to skip your workouts. Some people will also overeat late at night. Instead, try to stop eating after dinner, and try to keep your regular exercise routine before the holiday party starts.

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Eat Big Before the Party: It is a good idea to start your day with a big breakfast and healthy lunch. When it is time for Christmas dinner, you will likely to be too full and will decide against taking a second plate of food. Also, keep a water bottle on hand. This will prevent you from over-drinking alcohol during your holiday celebration.

Bring Healthy Foods to the Party: Party hosts often make it difficult to eat well during the holidays with plenty of high-fat and high-calorie choices. Instead of making a poor choice, bring something healthy to the party or Christmas celebration. That way you can stick with your diet, and the fellow guests can enjoy something healthy, too. Below is a healthy recipe you can bring to the party for family and friends to enjoy.

Baked Pears with Maple and Vanilla

It can be quite difficult to serve healthy foods during the holidays, especially since everyone will be expecting to indulge in lots of treats, sweets, and fried foods. The following is a healthy baked pear recipe with vanilla and maple syrup. It is delicious and easy to make.

Ingredients: 4 tbsp. of mixed chopped nuts, 2 tbsp. of maple syrup, 1 tsp. of cinnamon, 1 tsp. of vanilla extract, 1 tin of halved pears, 4 tbsp. of Greek yogurt or nut-based or coconut yogurt.

Directions:

Heat the oven to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup, and nuts in a medium bowl, and set the mixture aside.

Arrange the pear halves, pore side up, in an oven-safe dish. Next, carefully spoon the nut mixture into the pear halves, and bake for 15 minutes, or until the pears are tender. Divide the pears on serving plates. As an option, add some Greek yogurt to the pears. You can also use a nut-based or coconut yogurt as a non-dairy option. This recipe will serve four people, but you can always double the recipe to serve more guests.

Enjoy the Christmas season or holidays, and remember that your food choices can be delicious and healthy at the same time!


Sources:
Griffiths, J., “”Something to Chew On This is how many calories there are in your Christmas dinner…and tips to avoid piling on the pounds,” The Sun website, Dec. 10, 2016; https://www.thesun.co.uk/living/2371920/calories-christmas-dinner/.
Steen, J., “Easy Tips for Staying Curing The Silly Season,” The Huffington Post website, Dec. 12, 2016; http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/12/11/easy-tips-for-staying-healthy-during-the-silly-season/.