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It’s that time of year again—once we hit Halloween, with its candy, apple cider, and other treats, we are officially in the holiday season. If you are wondering how to eat healthy during this food-and-family-filled time, you’re not alone. On average, Americans gain about 10-15 pounds from now through turkey-stuffed Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So, what are you waiting for? If you want your family—kids included—to avoid feeling too jolly this year, these tips are a great place to start.

Take a Minute (or 10) to Breathe before Going for Seconds

Many of the social gatherings that people attend during the holidays serve dinner buffet-style. When it’s a free-for-all and you feel like loading up your plate, you are less likely to practice self-control.

After you finish your first plate, it’s best to wait a few minutes before heading back to the buffet table. Your body takes a little time to realize that your stomach is full. If you go back too soon, you could end up overeating, which is never desirable when you are trying to watch your weight.

Fill up on Veggies

Speaking of going back for seconds, if you make sure to fill your first plate with colorful veggies (not starchy ones like potatoes), you may not even feel like eating a second helping. In addition to making you feel full faster, vegetables contain lots of nutrients that are essential to your health.

Learning how to eat healthy is about learning about how your body responds to hunger, and filling up on vegetables is one way to stay fuller longer.

Don’t Show up to Parties on an Empty Stomach

You have little control over what foods are served at a party, but you do have control over your own pantry. If you have a party to attend, have a healthy snack before you set out so that you don’t show up famished.

The best way to stay full is to combine protein with complex carbohydrates. Think fruit and nuts or a small meat and cheese sandwich. Your waistline will thank you later.

Drink Water Between Alcoholic Drinks

You don’t just need to know how to eat healthy—you need to know how to drink healthy, too. Alcohol and holiday drinks like cider and eggnog can pack a punch when it comes to calories. It is easier to overconsume drinks than food, so you really have to watch how you are keeping your whistle wet. Furthermore, alcoholic beverages can stimulate your appetite and reduce your ability to practice self-control, a dangerous combination when you are trying to keep your figure.

The easiest way to combat this common problem is to switch between alcohol (or whatever high calorie drink you enjoy) and water. By alternating your drink of choice, your body will have more time to filter the alcohol. Plus, you will stay hydrated and full throughout the evening.

Learn How to Eat Healthy by Taking the Guesswork out of the Equation

Planning is the key to success, and that is true for maintaining a healthy diet, too. You know better than anyone what your schedule is going to be in a given week. It’s time to make a plan. If you need help with meal planning, check out our services and get in touch with us to sign up!

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