When you think of the holidays, one thing that likely comes to mind immediately is the rich foods and sweet treats that have become a staple of the season. After all, there’s a reason we often have sugar plums dancing in our heads during this time of year!
The holiday season is a great time to indulge in seasonal favorites as you connect with those you love and celebrate meaningful traditions. Still, it’s important for older adults to maintain their nutrition and healthy habits.
At The Woodlands at Canterfield, our luxury senior living community prioritizes nutrition and flavor in all our delicious dining experiences. If you’re searching for a way to find healthy food alternatives during the holidays, we’re sharing some helpful tips that will allow you to eat mindfully, avoid unhealthy options and make the most out of your meal!
Everything in Moderation
The internet, social media and our favorite talk shows constantly throw diets and tips for fast weight loss at us. Whether your favorite celebrity promoting a juice cleanse or a week-long diet that promises to help you drop pounds and detox your system, it can be tempting to follow these so-called “miracle” diets for the promise of fast results.
However, these “diets” aren’t really diets at all; in fact, they almost always cause more harm than good. This holiday season, practice mindful eating instead of diet practices that leave you unsatisfied and still hungry. Mindful eating is using both physical and emotional senses not just to eat your food but to experience and enjoy your meals.
This practice allows you to focus on how the things you eat make you feel, notice the internal cues that affect how much or how little you eat and allow you to step away from the judgement that often come with eating habits.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying indulgent meals and rich desserts in moderation, especially during the holidays! Remember that it’s perfectly fine to allow yourself to enjoy your favorite holiday recipes and treats this time of year. Practicing mindful eating can help you further enjoy and appreciate the delicious meals of the season.
Smaller Portions and Smaller Plates
While it might seem like a simple approach, using a smaller plate than usual can help you eat less food and save room, allowing you to enjoy the full spread of holiday treats and dishes at your gatherings.
By using a plate smaller than your typical dinner plate, your brain registers that you’re eating a satisfactory amount of food, even if it’s in smaller quantities. Keep in mind this is a practice that can allow you to enjoy multiple courses and deter you from filling up before trying different food options. The holidays only come around once a year, so naturally, you’ll want to be able to enjoy every special dish!
Holiday foods are known for high amounts of salt and sugar, as many people utilize rich recipes during celebrations and special occasions.
In the event of a holiday party where there’s bound to be plenty of decadent food and cocktails, it’s important to stay hydrated. Not only will this help flush waste and toxins from the body, but water can help you feel more full, reducing your chance of overeating.
Leave Room for Sweet Treats
Start each holiday meal by filling your plate with the most nutritious foods, like fruits, vegetables and proteins. This way, you’ll be less likely to overindulge in options containing large amounts of fat, sugar and sodium.
The best part? You’ll leave room for your favorite festive treats at the end of your meal!
The holidays are called “the most wonderful time of the year” for a reason, and a large part of this is due to the delicious foods associated with this season! By practicing these healthy eating habits, you’ll be able to enjoy your festive meals and continue to improve your health.
Understanding the steps to ensure healthy aging is of the utmost importance at The Woodlands at Canterfield. Our luxury senior living community is dedicated to providing tools and resources for residents to prioritize their health.
Give us a call at 224-479-0125 or reach out online to discover what our senior living community can offer you and your family.