Top 10 tips to healthy holiday eating

Here are 10 common-sense rules of eating healthier during the holidays – or any time!

Holidays can be a series of disasters for people with diabetes, those trying to lose weight, or anyone wanting to choose a healthier way of eating. To help fight the risks of expanded waistlines and eating poorly, Michigan State University Extension offers 10 common-sense rules for healthier eating during the holidays – or any time!

10. Never let yourself “starve” – think about your hunger on a scale, and use it to figure out how hungry you really are. Here’s a scale you can use:

Eating Chart

If you are starting to move in the “3” or below category and it isn’t time to eat a meal, consider having a small snack to tide you over until mealtime.

9. Enjoy the conversation and the company. Eat slowly enough to give your brain time to register that you are filling up and aren’t hungry anymore.

8. If you count carbohydrates get to know the carb counts of typical holiday foods. This will help you limit yourself, and, if you take insulin, you will know how much you need.

7. Choose your splurges carefully! Know which events and which scrumptious foods you don’t want to pass up and the ones where you want the company to be the main attraction.

6. Proteins and veggies first! Concentrate on eating from the protein and vegetable part of the menu first to help reduce your appetite.Holiday Healthy Eating Infographic

5. Eat what you decide to eat and not what other people want you to eat. Plan ahead, if possible. Or bring a dish you know you can enjoy.

4. Practice the art of the “polite decline.” You can still show Aunt Elizabeth you love her, even if you don’t want to eat her fudge.

3. Leave the table before you are full. Continue the conversation somewhere else, or help clear the table so you can enjoy coffee or tea after the meal.

2. Remember, you don’t need to try everything today – that’s what leftovers are for.

And, the first basic common-sense guideline,

1. When you move away from the table keep right on moving. After dinner is a great time to bundle up and take a walk around the neighborhood, play catch or build a snowman with the youngsters.

For more information about nutrition, weight loss, diabetes or other chronic conditions, as well as other issues of interest to families, contact an MSU Extension educator in your area. Go to, or call toll-free 1-888-MSUE-4-MI (1-888-678-3464).

Did you find this article useful?