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How to Eat, Drink, Be Merry AND Healthy During the Holidays

December 19, 2022

The holidays are here and with them comes an abundance of food and drinks that may not be so merry for your healthy eating goals. “Holidays may be different this year with more friends and family that you missed over the past few years. That’s the main thing holidays are all about. Food is the side-show, but we can easily get carried away if we’re not careful,” said Chris Barrett, clinical registered dietitian and nutritionist at Hartford HealthCare’s Bone & Joint Institute. Barrett shared these six tips for eating healthy and still enjoying the holidays:

Don’t skip meals.

Try to keep your eating pattern the same. People often skip breakfast to save calories so they can consume more during the holiday meal. “If you do this, you will overconsume,” Barrett said. “You go to a place with food you don’t usually have, you’re very hungry and it sets you up for the perfect storm.” > Worried about your weight? Take this health risk assessment

Contribute a healthy dish.

Be creative and try to incorporate healthier ingredients in a recipe. For example, Barrett suggested using 1% milk in potatoes rather than cream.

Add color to your plate.

Fill up on the healthier foods like fruits and vegetables, thinking of color to include foods with nutritional quality. Eat a balance of fruits, vegetables and carbohydrates. > Want more health news? Text StartHere to 85209 to sign up for text alerts

Choose drinks wisely.

It is okay to drink, but in moderation. Barrett recommended one four ounce alcoholic drink for females and two for men. “Alcohol consumption influences your food choices - if you are drinking more, you often eat more,” he said.

Pick your splurges.

Dessert is also okay. Take a full-size piece, too. If you have a sliver, you will end up going back for more and won’t know how much you are actually consuming.

Make thoughtful food choices.

You don’t have to avoid all of your favorite holiday foods. The key is to make sure when you have them, you enjoy them without eating them too fast.