The Best and Worst Holiday Foods

pieThe holidays present you with endless opportunities to indulge. That’s because food seems to be everywhere this time of year – at work, school and even at home. Couple that with the stress of the holidays and you’ve got a recipe for weight gain. Make this year different by strategizing ahead of time about what you should do and not do, including the foods you should indulge in. Here are some of the best and worst things you can eat during the holidays, and some strategies to help you stay healthy.

Your Plan

You shouldn’t try to restrict yourself so much during the holidays that you can’t enjoy it. That’s no way to find balance and it will end up just making your miserable. Instead, don’t try to be perfect and instead make your goal to maintain during the holidays. Most of the time follow a healthy eating and lifestyle plan, the rest of the time allow a little indulgence!

The Good

Here are some foods that, if you see them on the buffet, are probably a safe bet. They are:

  • Pretzels
  • Popcorn
  • Baked chips
  • Plain nuts
  • Fresh fruits and veggies
  • Shrimp cocktail
  • Clams
  • Oysters
  • Smoked salmon
  • Low-fat cheese on crackers
  • Vegetable or both-based soups
  • Baked sweet potatoes
  • Mashed potatoes with just a bit of gravy
  • White meat turkey without skin
  • Cranberry relish
  • Gelatin salad
  • Lean meats with no visible fat
  • Cornbread, oyster or fruit based stuffing
  • Pumpkin or mincemeat pie
  • Fruit sorbet, sherbet or frozen yogurt
  • Apple cider
  • Mimosa
  • Bloody Mary
  • Chocolate dipped strawberries

The Bad

These are foods that are generally not going to be on the list of foods that are healthy. These are indulgence food and should only be eaten sparingly. They are:

  • Chips
  • Creamy dips
  • Anything fried
  • Cheese straws
  • Candy or candied nuts
  • High fat cheese on crackers
  • Cream soups or bisques
  • Sweet potato casserole
  • Cranberry sauce
  • A ton of gravy on anything
  • Dark meat turkey with skin
  • Processed meats
  • Sausages
  • Fatty meats
  • Veggies in a cream sauce
  • Stuffing with sausage
  • Croissants
  • Pecan pie
  • Cake
  • Ice cream
  • Eggnog
  • Fruitcake
  • Fudge

Other Strategies to Try

In order to keep yourself in check and reduce the stress of the season:

  • Don’t wear clothes that will expand.
  • Eat a small but filling meal before going to a party or get-together.
  • If you don’t absolutely love it, don’t eat it.
  • Don’t linger around the buffet, bar or dessert table.
  • Sit down and actually savor the food you’re eating.
  • Limit yourself to two cocktails.
  • Reduce stress with online shopping.
  • Allow for downtime in your social calendar.
  • Stay active during the holidays and exercise regularly.

The holidays can be enjoyable, you just have to stay mindful and diligent in the promises you make yourself to stay healthy and happy.

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Image used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Ruth Hartnup

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.