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Published on December 04, 2019

eating well during the holidays - family sitting at a table about to eat a holiday dinner.'

Eating well during the holidays

The holidays can be a stressful time for many reasons, but food doesn't have to be one of them.

Here are 3 tips for reducing food stress during the holidays:

Consider the satisfaction factor

Along with the holidays come a host of traditional dishes that you may look forward to each year. You may feel stressed that these foods don’t fit into your current diet or are "too rich." But it's important to consider the satisfaction factor. If you change the ingredients in a traditional recipe to make it healthier will you still enjoy it? If you don't enjoy it, you may end up eating larger portions of that food in pursuit of the satisfaction the original would have provided. Swapping may also give the food a "health halo," which may also lead to eating larger portions. Consider the satisfaction factor before making ingredient swaps in your favorite recipes.

Listen to your body this holiday season

Eating on a different schedule or eating different foods than you normally eat may affect how you feel. For example, eating foods that are lower in fiber than your normal diet, not drinking enough water and a decrease in your physical activity level may contribute to constipation. Give yourself opportunities choose a variety of foods and pay attention to how you feel.

Above all, enjoy yourself!

Holiday gatherings often include a large meal and a buffet of snacks available all day long. This can cause some to worry and may lead to avoiding parties or feeling guilty after the fact. Remember that your day to day choices during the rest of the year have a larger impact on your health than one day or one weekend. It can also be helpful to plan a variety of ways to enjoy traditions, food, family and friends. Consider adding new traditions such as games, volunteering in your community, having a dance party or taking a walk as a family.

Don't know where to start still? View our recipes to receive some inspiration for all of your holiday dishes.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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