The holidays are typified by indulgence. A season that is filled with food, candy, increased spending, and traveling – the holidays can be a challenge to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Keeping a firm handle on one’s health is especially important to senior citizens who may also battle with health concerns.
Being healthy during the holidays doesn’t mean that you can’t indulge in any of the joys of the season. Moderation and following a few lifestyle tips can help you to fully enjoy the holidays, while also watching your health and waistline.
Holiday Eating Tips
- Don’t deny yourself; just use moderation. Feeling deprived can lead you to overeat. Enjoy a little taste, but don’t eat the whole pie.
- On big meal days, like Thanksgiving, eat lightly throughout the day so you are not starving at the big meal.
- Use a smaller plate for your food. This will help you take less food and realize you are full before you have overeaten.
- Eat lean protein, like turkey, first. The protein will help fill you up with much less calories and fat than mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc.
- Eat slowly and give your body time to register the “full” feeling.
- Limit your large eating to one day. Send leftovers away with guests, or throw them away. One meal doesn’t overly impact your health, but day after day of bad eating can throw you seriously off track.
- Keep healthy snacks handy – better to crunch on carrots than peppermint bark.
- Resist the urge to fall asleep on the couch, and take a revitalizing walk after your meal. The little extra calorie burn and serotonin release will help you to resist eating too much throughout the rest of the day.
- Plan ahead by eating lighter throughout the week before a holiday. By planning to moderately eat the holiday foods, you give yourself permission to enjoy your food.
Senior nutrition is very important for long lasting health. You don’t need to eat in excess to enjoy the flavors of the season. By being prepared for the temptations and entering the big eating days with a plan, you can make it through the holidays healthy and happy.