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Healthy Eating During the Holidays: You CAN do this.

Red-letter days are just around the corner, and with them come a host of seasonal temptations—from holiday buffets to family meals to those evil three-flavor popcorn tins that seem to invade every office. Studies show that planning ahead is a key factor in weight loss success, so now’s the time to start thinking about these challenges as opportunities to make smart choices… and chances to feel better than ever in your holiday best. Here are a few easy coping strategies:

Bring Your Own. Whether you’re headed for a holiday potluck or simply going into the office during this “slippery slope of snacking” season, you’ll be a lot less tempted to indulge if you’ve got a healthy alternative in hand. If you’re cooking something for a party, check out Jenny’s amazing online recipe database before you strap on that apron—you’ll be surprised at how many options are not just healthy and delicious, but totally suitable for company. And at work, make sure you bring healthy munchies with you every day, whether they’re “Free Foods” like carrot sticks or Jenny’s Cuisine® snacks.

Never Go Hungry. A holiday party is just like the grocery store: if you’re starving, you’ll end up making food choices with your belly rather than your brain. Eat wisely throughout the day. Then have a sensible, filling meal prior to the party, and drink 8–10 ounces of water in the car on the way over. That way, you’ll know for sure that you’re not actually hungry… just tempted. If you plan to have a cocktail, choose wine over beer and sugary mixed drinks, which can have as many calories as a healthy meal! And try to stick to just one drink—alcohol lowers your inhibitions, so you’ll be more likely to stray.

Watch Your Portions. The Jenny lifestyle isn’t about depriving yourself of the things that you love; it’s about finding balance! So when it’s time to partake of that big family holiday dinner, put on your portion control hat, follow the rules you already know, and ENJOY. Limit meats to three ounces (about the size of a deck of cards), and choose leaner options like turkey breast over fatty meats like ham. Go light on the carbs (stuffing, potatoes and dinner rolls), be conscious of how veggies are prepared (creamy pearl onions, we’re talking to you!) and consider skipping the gravy altogether—along with the seconds.

Above all, remember: you CAN do this. And better yet, unlike a huge slice of pumpkin pie, the healthy eating choices you make during these holidays will continue to reward you throughout the year—in the form of better health, higher energy and a brighter outlook. And that’s more delicious than any dessert.

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