Tips for Maintaining Healthy Eating Habits During the Holidays

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By Courtney Mykkanen, Swimming World College Intern.

The holidays can be a difficult time of year to maintain healthy eating habits when there are so many delicious dishes and treats. During this season of giving, many treats are being made for family, friends, coaches and teammates. There are so many temptations that can be hard to resist. Our healthy eating habits can sometimes slip through the cracks and take a while to get back to the normal routine.



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Try to eat close to your regular eating times so your body does not get off schedule. Take into consideration if you’ve been practicing more or less. If you’ve been practicing less, then make it a goal to eat more fruits and vegetables with every meal. If practices have been more intense, then of course make sure you’re getting enough carbs and protein – but don’t use that as an excuse to eat more sweets.

Don’t be Too Hard on Yourself


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Restricting yourself completely can have negative effects leading to binging or overeating. Eating unhealthy foods is okay as long as it is in moderation and you are supplementing them with nutritious foods. While some foods can be categorized as healthy and unhealthy, this just means some foods can be eaten in larger portions than others.

It is no fun to eat something and then feel guilty about it; we should be able to enjoy the foods we love fully. It is okay to still enjoy a slice of pie for desert, but maybe try adding some strawberries to it – they might even make it taste better! Acknowledging unhealthy eating habits right away can help you stay on track from the beginning. Focus on balanced meals and eating unhealthy foods in moderation.

Every Day is a New Day

Acknowledge that this is a challenging time of year for everyone. Set goals before the holidays begin that are realistic and can be achieved while still enjoying oneself. If you realize that your unhealthy eating habits are getting out of control and might take some time to fix, make sure you are taking care of your body in all the other ways. Get enough sleep and work out the same amount or possibly more.

Try New Things

Cookie Cutter Christmas Biscuits Icing Sugar Star

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It is okay to try new foods! Be open to new ideas, such as making healthier versions of your favorite dishes and treats. While this may be difficult because you’ve been looking forward to these foods all year and you don’t want to risk changing the taste, you may find that it tastes even better and make you feel better about eating it! Some easy substitutions include honey instead of sugar, whole wheat sugar cookies, adding oats and nuts to cookies, and eating dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.