CHRISTUS: It Is Possible to Eat Healthy During the Holidays


It may seem like a Christmas miracle, but CHRISTUS Health dietitians want to remind people that it is possible to eat healthy during the holidays and avoid weight gain.

“The holidays are a time to eat, drink, and be merry with family and friends, but it does not mean it has to be a reason for weight gain,” said Lauren Clark, clinical dietitian with CHRISTUS Health. “There are simple things that can be done to limit weight gain while still enjoying all the delicious options.”

Clark said that focusing on portion control and moderation can help people enjoy a wider variety of foods while decreasing instances of overeating. If you are attending a party where you know there will be lots of food, she recommends eating a healthy meal ahead of time.

“We also know that a lot of foods served at gatherings are going to be high in fat and sugar, so moderation on those foods is key,” Clark said. “Try to fill up on healthier options like fruits or vegetables to limit your intake on the richer foods.”

Anne Heine, a clinical dietitian at CHRISTUS Children’s Hospital, said that to avoid overeating, survey the food, choose your top two or three choices and stick to those.

“Especially for children, who can be incredibly picky eaters,” Heine said. “Try and make it fun for them. Pick out a variety of foods that you’d like for them to eat and have them choose two or three from that group. That way they get what they want from the best options you’ve chosen.” CHRISTUS Health also offers the following tips for eating healthier this holiday season:

 If you feel like indulging on dessert, cut back your intake of other starchy foods like
potatoes or breads.

 Cooking at home lends the benefit of controlling what ingredients are used. Store-bought foods are generally processed, refined products that likely contain added fats and sugars.

 Don’t forget hydration. Make sure you are drinking plenty of clear, decaffeinated fluid. If
you are drinking alcohol, try to drink a glass of water between each drink.

 Take 10 minutes before seconds. After finishing your first helping, take a 10-minute
break. Make conversation. Drink some water. Then recheck your appetite. You might
realize you are full or want only a small portion of seconds.

For more information about eating healthy during the holidays, visit Motivation to Eat Right – CHRISTUS Health

Photo of CHRISTUS clinical dietitian Lauren Clark, who contributed to the article.


About CHRISTUS Health

At CHRISTUS Health, we deliver a complete healing experience that respects the individual. We serve our communities with dignity. And with a good deal of admiration. CHRISTUS Health is a Catholic, not-for-profit system made up of more than 600 centers, including community hospitals, urgent care centers, health insurance companies and physician clinics. We are a community of nearly 50,000 Associates with over 15,000 physicians providing individualized care—and all focused on our charitable mission. Sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in Houston and San Antonio and the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, our mission is to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to every individual we serve.

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