While the weather is getting cooler, the holiday party season is just heating up!

I look forward to gathering with loved ones during the holidays. There’s nothing quite like seeing everything lit up and decorated and getting together throughout the season. For many of us events during this time of year can be summed up with three words- Family, Friends, and FOOD!

Savoring traditional holiday favorites and sampling new foods is often a highly anticipated and enjoyable element of holiday events. If the abundance of appetizers, sides, drinks, and desserts that accompany holiday gatherings provokes a bit of anxiety, don’t be discouraged. I have a few easy-to-apply tips that can help you enjoy this holiday season and still maintain the healthy habits you’ve worked so hard to incorporate.

  • Enjoy a small healthy meal or snack prior to the event. If you arrive at a holiday party with a ravenous appetite, you are more likely to overeat.
  • Don’t socialize where the food is located. Food that is within arm’s reach can be a continuous temptation leading to mindless eating.
  • Limit alcohol.
  • Stay hydrated, drink some water throughout the event and along with your meal.
  • When approaching the buffet, place a small portion of your favorites on your plate and fill the remainder with lighter options, like veggie sides or salad.
  • Eat mindfully - that means eating slowly and savoring every bite. Pause for a few minutes before deciding to take a second trip to the buffet.
  • Split or share desserts. The first bite or two are always the best, so consider splitting or sharing your favorite holiday sweets and desserts.

Just because you are prioritizing healthy eating doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy the holidays and the foods associated with them! With a little forethought and planning, you can maintain a healthy approach to eating while still partaking in all this magical time of year has to offer. The holidays come but once a year, so joyfully embrace the events and gatherings that accompany them.

Wishing a happy and healthy holiday season to all!