Memorial Regional Health: Six tips for a healthy holiday |

Memorial Regional Health: Six tips for a healthy holiday

Sarah Hartman
Memorial Regional Health Registered Dietitian

If you’re wondering if you can both enjoy holiday treats and keep your weight and blood sugar under control, the answer is yes.

You don’t have to forego your favorite foods. Instead, make smart, simple decisions in the coming weeks by following these six nutrition and behavior tips.

Pinpoint your treat days in advance

Try to keep your holiday food frenzy to only certain days. Yes, goodies abound for weeks before the actual holiday dates — at work, family gatherings, etc. But if you can decide ahead of time that you’ll indulge only at coming parties, gatherings and dates you select in advance, you’ll avoid a lot of mindless calories.

Bring a healthy meal or snack to holiday gatherings

You’ll be contributing, anyway, so why not bring something that’s both tasty and good for everyone? You’re in control. Your dish can be your go-to for keeping excess calories, sugars and fats down. Choose your recipe wisely. Fruit- and vegetable-based side dishes work well. is a reliable source for attractive and healthy recipes.

On high-calorie days, have a plan 

Consume a lighter meal earlier in the day if you know you’ll be enjoying a calorie-rich meal later on. Also, get some exercise, or simply get moving, to offset the extra goodies. The basic concept here is balancing calories in with calories out.

Pay attention when you eat and drink 

Take your time when eating. Take sips of water or put your utensil down between bites. Use a smaller plate to keep portions in control. It takes 20 to 30 minutes after starting a meal for the appetite center in your hypothalamus to realize that you are feeling full.

Share your abundance 

If you’re hosting and you tend to consume too many post-festivity leftovers, consider purchasing containers or storage bags to send extras with your guests as they leave.

Carry healthy snacks 

If you’ll be out and about shopping or running errands for long stretches, bring some healthy snacks with you. This could help prevent impulse eating or high-calorie dining out. Snacks to pack could be granola bars, cut-up vegetables or fruit. Nuts are also good, but keep the portion size to a handful because they’re high-calorie.

The goal is to enjoy yourself and others while staying healthy along the way! And check out for more great nutrition tips and information.

Sarah Hartman, RDN
Memorial Regional Health/Courtesy photo

Sarah Hartman is a registered dietitian at Memorial Regional Health.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.