Dec 07, 2017 12:00 PM

The holiday season is a time for joy. It can also be a time for weight gain, stress, and exhaustion. Huntsman Cancer Institute nutrition experts share some tips for eating wisely and keeping your holidays happy and healthy.

Avoid overeating at parties.

  • Don’t skip meals. You will be more likely to overeat at gatherings when you are starving.
  • Scan the whole buffet table and plan your meal. Choose healthy options first and don’t feel like you to have to try everything.
  • Fill up on foods that make you feel full at the expense of fewer calories. Try to make half your plate fruits and veggies.
  • Use a smaller plate to reduce the risk of loading up on too much food.
  • Be choosy when it comes to desserts. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you need to try it.
  • Be mindful of portion sizes—a little can go a long way!

Lower stress.

  • Make time for exercise. Choose activities with family or friends that keep you active such as sledding, ice skating, walking, or snowball fights.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. Keep your holiday simple and manageable. Remember that it’s okay to not RSVP to everything.

When it comes to holiday beverages, be aware of calories and choose wisely.

  • Drinks like eggnog and hot chocolate can have as much as 220 calories and 11 grams fat per 8-ounce serving.
  • For those specialty coffee drinks, choose skim milk, skip the whipped cream, and get a smaller size:
    Venti (20-ounce) peppermint mocha with whole milk and whipped cream = 580 calories, 22 grams fat
    Tall (12-ounce) peppermint mocha with skim milk and no whipped cream = 240 calories, 2 grams fat

Keep up your energy.

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water or low-calorie hydrating beverages.
  • Carry healthy snacks of protein and vegetables with you.

Avoid getting sick.

Make sure to wash your hands often and get your flu shot!

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