Five Tips to Healthier Eating Over The Holidays

Students gather during Thanksgiving dinner at Lebanon Valley College

The holidays are almost here, and this year, we’re talking about healthier eating. Jared Hatz, the College’s strength and conditioning coach, shares tips to help avoid the holiday food coma. 

1. Eat until you are 80-percent full. Determine ahead of time what you love to eat and stick to those things instead of trying everything possible. Also, eat slowly–eating too quickly doesn’t allow your brain and stomach to sync up correctly, making it very easy to overindulge.

2. Don’t drink your calories. Try your best to drink calorie-free drinks.

3. Make the food you eat “work” for you by getting up early and going for a run or doing some bodyweight exercises (squats, lunges, push-ups, pull-ups, etc.). If running isn't your thing, go for a brisk walk for 20-35 minutes. The food you eat will have a more direct influence on replenishing muscle glycogen and repairing your muscles if you did something strenuous earlier in the day. Think about the idea of earning your meal!

4. Snack on healthy snacks like raw, unsalted nuts throughout the day to keep satiety (feeling full) high and ultimately reduce the urge to eat a lot for dinner and dessert. Be sure to keep them more than an arm's length away, otherwise handfuls of nuts end up being very high in calories.

5. Drink water that has freshly squeezed lemon juice in it 15-20 minutes before eating to help aid digestion.