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University of South Florida

Five Healthy Eating Tips for Enjoying the Holiday Season

The holiday season whirlwind is upon us, a flurry of activities and engagements from holiday gatherings to shopping for presents. We feel time-pressed, and eating right can seem pointless with endless spreads of yummy seasonal treats. Although rich decadent options are readily available, there are usually healthy options, too, if we are looking for them.

“If we don’t get caught up in the moment and think about moderation, we can make healthier choices this season. Don’t restrict yourself from eating your favorite seasonal treats; enjoy them in smaller portions. It’s OK to have a taste or modify the recipe to make that special treat in a more healthful way,” said Dr. Amy Weiss, a pediatrician with USF Health. “Don’t show up at the party starving, or you will end up eating more than you planned. Have a small high-protein snack before a party to avoid over-eating.”

If we inevitably find ourselves overindulging, here are five simple tips to get us back on track this holiday season:

  1. Have healthy snacks accessible when you are on the go.
  2. If you are busy, try to eat regularly to avoid binge eating.
  3. Indulge in decadent treats in small quantities. There are no bad foods.
  4. Limit portion sizes when eating out, especially.
  5. Prepare holiday favorites with substitutions that still taste good, but are healthier for us.

“Planning ahead is essential during the holiday season. Have fast, easy, and healthy snacks available at home or with you on the go, so you don’t skip meals or get stuck eating unhealthy options, for lack of a better choice,” Dr. Weiss said.  “Remember to continue with regular exercise and maintain adequate sleep and water intake during this busy time.”

To make an appointment with our team of USF Health pediatricians, please call (813) 259-8700, or for our group of Internal Medicine physicians, please call (813) 974-2201.

Written By: Kathleen Rogers

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