A holiday celebration just isn’t complete without the food. Let’s face it: Family meals, office parties and holiday reunions mean we’ll all have the opportunity to eat, eat, and eat some more.
And there lies the challenge: How do we avoid the trap of overeating?
Overeating can be a big problem. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that weight gained during the holidays can stick around for most of the year.
There are ways to both enjoy the holidays and keep healthy at the same time, says Erin Morse, chief clinical dietitian at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
The first step is to realize that holiday foods can be healthy. Even though we tend to start reaching for comfort foods as the weather gets colder, there are plenty of nutritious, seasonal fruits and vegetables that won’t wreak havoc on our waist line, says Morse. These include foods like whole cranberries, multicolored cauliflower and warming spices like nutmeg.
The next step is to set ourselves up for success during the season of eating. Morse has plenty of tips for us to plan our approach:
With a little planning, your holiday season doesn’t have to be a time of unhealthy eating and added weight. So don’t just mindlessly eat the holidays away; savor them with good food and good company.
This story appears in the UCLA Health blog.