10 Tips for Eating Healthy During the HolidaysAuthor : Strive Health
Eating healthy during the holidays can be a challenge, but it’s possible to enjoy the festivities while still making nutritious choices. Here are some tips to help you maintain your kidney friendly eating habits over the holidays.
- Plan Ahead & Get Support: Before attending holiday gatherings or parties, have a plan in place. Decide in advance what you’ll eat and how much you’ll indulge. It also helps to share your commitment to kidney-friendly eating with your family and friends. Having a support system helps you stay accountable and make healthy choices together.
- Practice Portion Control: Use smaller plates and utensils to trick your mind into thinking you’re eating more food than you are. Also try to follow The Plate Method by filling half your plate with vegetables, a quarter with a protein, and a quarter with the carbohydrate. Ask your Strive dietitian if you need help with what foods are in which group.
- Choose Wisely: Opt for lean proteins like white meat turkey or chicken and go for grilled or roasted options rather than fried. If available, choose whole grains (brown rice, whole grain bread, quinoa, etc.) over refined carbohydrates. “Eat the rainbow” — focus on a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables and let fruit satisfy your sweet tooth.
- Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Thirst is sometimes mistaken for hunger, which can cause you to eat more than you normally would.
- Don’t Skip Meals: It may be tempting to skip meals to “save up” for a big holiday feast. However, eating regular, well-balanced meals throughout the day will prevent you from having a ravenous appetite leading to overindulging later.
- Be Careful with Alcohol: Alcohol can be damaging to kidneys, so save your calories for all the delicious food by choosing water, sugar-free seltzers, or unsweetened iced tea.
- Eat Mindfully: Pay attention to what you’re eating. Savor each bite and eat slowly to help you recognize your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Stop eating when you’re satisfied, not when you’re overly full. This is especially important when you are allowing yourself to have tastes of sugary desserts, fried snacks or creamy sauces or dips.
- Bring Healthy Dishes: If you’re attending a potluck or holiday dinner, bring a healthy dish to share. This way, you know there will be at least one nutritious option available.
- Stay Active: Incorporate physical activity into your holiday routine. Take a walk, go for a hike or play sports in the yard to balance out the extra calories eaten during the holidays.
- Manage Stress: The holidays can be a hectic time, and high stress levels can lead to overeating. Practice stress-management techniques like deep breathing, meditation or yoga to help you stay on track.
Remember that the holidays are a time to celebrate and enjoy the company of loved ones, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you indulge a bit. The key is to find a balance that allows you to enjoy the festivities without entirely derailing your kidney-friendly eating habits. If you do go off track, show yourself grace and compassion and start fresh again the next day!