Celebrate the Holidays with Eight Guilt-Free Tips

by Hannah Robaczewski, RDN

It really is the best time of the year! And along with the best time of the year comes the best meals with those we love. While you may be tempted to make some choices you may regret later, here are eight tips to help you enjoy the holiday season and feel great afterward!



1.     Plate size. Plate size. Plate size. Having a large, empty dinner plate staring you down during a meal can be intimidating. It may pressure you to fill the plate with more food than you can handle. Instead, reach for a smaller plate. The fuller it looks, the less likely you are to overeat.

2.     Watch your step. Be sure to keep yourself far enough away from foods that are easy to mindlessly eat. A bowl of snacks can be easily eaten while distracted. Be sure to separate yourself if feeling too tempted!

3.     Put those utensils down! Between bites, try to put your utensil down. Take time to listen and talk with others at a meal. This allows you to take your time during a meal instead of rushing to finish. It gives you more time to catch up with others, while your stomach has time to tell you when it’s full. Be sure to chew and swallow first!

4.     Remember, you can always go back. You may feel tempted to take various servings your first time through the dinner line, but this can also add pressure later on when you’re feeling full. Who wants to waste food? Start with portions you know you will finish. After that, head back for what you know you want.

5.     Be a good host! Offer to help bring in gifts out from the car or clean some dishes. It adds brownie points with the in-laws while using up some extra calories!


6.     Drinks! . . . In moderation. Remember that alcohol carries a higher amount of calories per serving than fats, carbohydrates, or proteins. It can sneak unwanted extra calories into your celebrations that you may regret later.

7.     Back to the basics. This is a tip we all know, but it goes to prove itself useful! Fill your plate with fruits and vegetables first. You’ll feel more satisfied on smaller portions of other high calorie foods.

8.     Offer another option. While many meals are full of high-calorie recipes you’ll love, do some research and offer a recipe you feel leans on the healthier side. This encourages healthy choices for others as well as yourself at any celebration!

However you celebrate this holiday season, rely on these eight tips to make it a guilt-free celebration!

Click here for a free collection of healthy holiday recipes


Hannah Robaczewski is a Wisconsin local, practicing as a nutrition services director in long term care.