When the holiday season comes, there is a lot to look forward to, including extra-delicious food choices in abundance. More than a temporary holiday fix, this is a sensible but powerful lifestyle approach to hold close all year round. Follow these tips and tricks to be holiday healthy in the kitchen and beyond.

Holiday Healthy Tips

1. Don’t restrict yourself with a diet mentality

Constantly restricting yourself with a diet mentality can lead to binge eating, especially with the holiday temptations. But going overboard can send you back on the dieting bandwagon come January. Consistency is key! Everything in moderation. Making sustainable choices now is the best way to navigate the celebration season.

2. Know yourself

For a healthy, balanced approach to food, be honest with yourself when you set health goals for November and December. Do you have a favorite pie that you just can’t say no to? Have it! Allow yourself a few favorite treats here and there, so you don’t feel deprived and overindulge later.

3. Make a plan but leave room for flexibility

If you are hosting or planning festive meals, sprinkle the indulgences with more nutritious, healthy choices. This goes hand-in-hand with knowing thyself. You know what you love and what people tend to serve during the holidays.

Keeping your metabolism high throughout the season will help keep you on track toward holiday healthy. Try shifting your schedule to add in a few extra walks or workouts. And try not to skip meals to compensate. Eat a small snack before your events. Arriving over-hungry often leads to overeating.

4. Eat intentionally

Be aware of what you eat, how much, and how satisfied you feel. You can still enjoy modest portions of your favorites without feeling stuffed. Ironically, staying focused on your food helps, too. Sit down to eat and connect mindfully with others. Multitasking (such as munching while socializing or watching a movie) makes it harder to keep track of how much you’re consuming.

5. Be gracious with your host (and food pushers)

Sometimes the food options aren’t entirely up to you. If you aren’t the host this season or have a food pusher in your family, remember there are other ways to show gratitude than eating. Be vocal about your appreciation of the food. Tell them you enjoyed it by asking for the recipe, and try eating slower or clearing your spot so your plate doesn’t appear empty and available.

6. Shift your mindset

Your most helpful tool for practicing gratitude in the kitchen this holiday season is to be kind to yourself. One way is to let go of all-or-nothing thinking. If you get off track during one meal, let it go and start again the next meal. Like with life, occasional slip-ups are normal and don’t have to derail your overall balance and goal to be holiday healthy this year.