Staying healthy during the holidays is one of the biggest challenges of the season. There are plenty of excuses to overindulge, traditions based on eating and drinking, and of course, the urge to be a good guest and enjoy what’s being offered. There are ways to be healthier though, without being rude to the cook or host, and without sacrificing all your favorite holiday activities.

Utilize the following 7 tips for healthy holiday eating and survival from a leading Houston primary care physician who’s familiar with helping their patients navigate this difficult period for health and wellness.

  1. Bring a Healthy Choice: When each person is responsible for bringing a dish to serve to a holiday event, you have some control. Bring a healthy choice based on a personal favorite ingredient or recipe, and when in doubt, rest easy knowing at least one menu item will be light and nutritious.
  2. Don’t Hover Near the Snacks: Standing and chatting near the snacks is a common reason so many people overindulge. Instead of hovering, take a few choice items on a plate, and then go sit down with them.
  3. Consider Your Options Before Starting: Before loading up that plate, be sure to survey all of the available options. This will allow you to see which choices are the true must-haves, and which could actually be passed up on if only there weren’t already three on the plate. Look at the entire buffet or snack setup before making any decisions.
  4. Eat Thoughtfully: Enjoy the meal and the food. Savor the flavors, chew slowly, and take time in between bites. This will not only increase appreciation of the food, but also will slow down overall eating, and help the body to catch up and feel fuller instead of aimlessly overeating.
  5. Pick a Dessert: It would be rude to not have any dessert, right? Chances are, most people won’t be able to stop from having at least one anyway. So pick the absolute favorite, and save a few bites of space for it. Skip the rest.
  6. Don’t Starve Yourself Before or After: Some people try to make amends for holiday overeating by eating excessively little in the days before or after and event. This actually shuts down your body’s metabolism, while also making it more likely to overeat and gorge due to being overly hungry. Make healthy choices and be moderate, but don’t go into starvation mode.
  7. Beware The Beverages: Eggnog is just as bad for a person’s health as it seems. While that one is obvious, other less obvious choices such as hot chocolate or apple cider, or even just glass after glass of wine, come with a big dose of calories. Limit your alcoholic beverage intake, and consider a few glasses of water for a healthier holiday.

PremierCare has several locations in and around Houston, making them a convenient choice as a local family doctor in communities such as Katy, Sugarland, El Campo, Rosenberg, Richmond, Wharton, Needville, Pasadena and Guy. With extended hours, they’re also a go-to destination for Houston urgent care. Call 713.777.3131 (Braeswood) or 281.633.0148 (Richmond/Rosenberg).

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