The holidays are filled with food, family, and fun. And with that come more social situations, unpredictable schedules, and barriers to making healthy food choices.
We asked the team of registered dietitians from All Access Dietitians, a virtual nutrition practice that accepts insurance, to share their best advice for a healthy holiday season.
BRING YOUR GOALS WITH YOU
“Heading to a holiday party? Bring a dish to share that you are excited to eat and is in line with your health goals!”
— Darby Molloy
PRE-PARTY WITH A MEAL AND SNACK
“Try to avoid showing up to holiday parties overly hungry. This can increase cravings, cause us to eat larger-than-intended portions, and make us feel uncomfortably full or lead to indigestion. To prepare, aim to have a well-balanced meal 2-3 hours before or a snack with protein and fiber 1 hour before the festivities.”
— Amelia Belmonte
TRY A NEW NON-FOOD TRADITION
“Engage in non-food activities. While food can be such a celebratory and nostalgic part of the holiday season, it can also be a time of preoccupation with food for many. To create more balance in your holiday season, consider proposing a new tradition that involves a non-food activity such as a family walk, board game, or special outing.”
— Rachel Klomstad
SCAN FOR SUCCESS
“Make a realistic plan going into the meal. Scan the options available and don’t feel obligated to try everything. Focus on the foods you enjoy. You can always go back for seconds if you like something.”
— Suren Chiu
TRY A “VEGGIE STARTER”
“Have a “veggie starter.” This means to aim to eat some vegetables prior to your protein and carbs to aid with portion control, blood sugar balance, and listening to your fullness cues.”
— Danielle Cahalan
FIND DESSERT BUDDIES
“If there’s a large selection of desserts, find a buddy (or two) to share a dessert plate so you can try a bit of each.”
— Celine Reyes
GET YOUR VITAMIN Zzzz
“Remember to get enough sleep! Many of us will be on different schedules during the holiday season, so aim to set a consistent sleep and wake time each day to ensure at least 7-9 hours a night!”
— Michelle Buelow
CHANGE YOUR SCRIPT
“Challenge the belief that you always ‘go off the rails’ during the holiday season. What if this wasn’t true? What choices would you make if this wasn’t true? By aligning with a healthier self-belief, you make better in-the-moment food choices.”
— Jenny Westerkamp
Ready to make your habits work for you? Check out All Access Dietitians for help with nutrition habit building, self-motivation, and behavior change. The program may be 100% covered by your insurance (no deductible requirement!) with Blue Cross Blue Shield or United Healthcare insurance.
Author: Jenny Westerkamp, RD, CSSD
Founder of All Access Dietitians. All Access Dietitians combines the sciences of nutrition and self-motivation to take your health to the next level. Through their 12-week program, you can work with a Dietitian Coach to create a personalized plan that takes into account your unique needs and preferences. With weekly coaching sessions, you will have a dedicated time to cultivate a new mindset and healthier habits. Head over to their website to see if your program is 100% free with Blue Cross Blue Shield or United Healthcare insurance by completing a complimentary benefits check.