Enjoy Some Holiday Sweets Without Derailing Your Health Goals: 10 Tips to Remember

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There seems to be no shortage of holiday gifts this time of year: at the office, at neighborhood get-togethers, at holiday open houses, at family parties and evening functions.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and nutritionists say you can enjoy the holidays while still sticking to your health goals.

“The holiday season is synonymous with delicious desserts and sweet treats that tempt us at every turn,” dietitian Sarah Heckler, MS, RD, of Anne Till Nutrition Group in Raleigh, North Carolina, tells Fox News Digital.

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“Although it’s tempting to indulge in the festivities, it’s important to strike a balance between enjoying these seasonal joys and maintaining your health goals.”

Here are some simple strategies and tips to help you enjoy the holiday sweets without derailing your health journey.

1. Practice restraint

Distribution of sweets is likely to be abundant during parties and celebrations, but try to set limits if you choose that goal.

“The holiday season is synonymous with delicious desserts and sweet treats that tempt us at every turn.” (iStock)

“Enjoy smaller portions of your favorite desserts instead of eating large amounts,” suggests Heckler.

Another idea to curb your temptation, she said, is to use smaller plates to help control portion sizes.

2. Choose wisely

Choose sweets that are low in added sugars and saturated fat, Heckler said.

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“Consider healthier options like fruit-based desserts or whole-grain desserts like fruit salad or baked apple to satisfy your sweet tooth with natural sugars and added nutrients,” she said.

3. Balance your plate

Before dessert, try a more balanced meal with a mix of proteins, vegetables and healthy fats.

family toasting at the christmas table

Before dessert, eat a balanced meal with a mix of protein, vegetables and healthy fats. (iStock)

“This can help reduce the impact of sweets on your overall nutritional intake,” Heckler explains.

4. Stay hydrated

Drinking water both before and during meals can help, Heckler said.

“Sometimes, our body mistakes thirst for hunger and staying hydrated can help you feel satisfied in smaller amounts,” she said.

5. Take care of the content

When paying attention to the dessert table, lean toward sweets made from high-quality ingredients.

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Beware of hidden sugars and unhealthy fats.

“Consider homemade desserts where you have control over the ingredients,” she said.

6. Engage in conversation

Socialize with your guests and other partygoers.

festive sweets

One dietitian said, “Don’t eat any old sweets just because they’re just there.” “Pick one or two sweets that are your favorite.” (iStock)

“This way, you can enjoy the flavor without having to eat the entire dessert alone,” Heckler said.

7. Sit down for dessert

Think about it: You can eat three pieces of peppermint bark in five minutes or you can slow down and savor one piece in five minutes, says Vanessa Imus, MS, RDN, for Weight Loss in Bothell. Said the dietitian of integrative nutrition. , Washington.

“Either way, you’re enjoying the holiday for five minutes; it’s just a matter of how many.”

8. Choose your favorite

“Don’t eat any old candy because it’s just there,” Imus said.

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“Pick one or two sweets that are your favorite,” she said.

9. Distribute sweets

Aim for smaller portions, Imus suggested.

“Cut the fudge in half or share it with someone,” he said.

Christmas gathering

You’ll get more satisfaction from your food if you really pay attention to its taste, one expert said. (iStock)

“That way, you can enjoy another holiday, like a sugar cookie screaming your name.”

10. Practice mindful eating

You’ll get more satisfaction from your food if you really pay attention to the taste, Imus said.

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He said, “How many times have you eaten something and then realized you didn’t even really taste it? The right thing to do is to taste and enjoy the taste.”

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