Tips For Having a Healthy Holiday | Food Confidence

Nutrition Strategies

Tips For Having a Healthy Holiday

As an integrative dietitian and empowerment coach with 20+ years of experience, my main goal is to help women age well, feel confident in their bodies, and create the healthy lifestyle they desire and deserve.
danielle omar

Thanks to my friends at Love One Today for sponsoring this post. 

The holiday season is upon us and it’s right about the time my inbox and Facebook Group get flooded with questions about how to stay on track with all the parties, decadent dinners, and holiday treats.

I don’t believe that holiday indulgences have to completely hinder your healthy lifestyle. In fact, one of my best tips for managing your weight during the holidays is to start before the party begins.

When I’m planning for a decadent dinner out, I make sure to eat a healthy, satisfying breakfast and lunch beforehand. You might think it’s best to limit your calories during the day to “save up” until dinner, but that can backfire if it causes you to overeat and be uncomfortable.

At the same time, some of my clients find that fasting all day (or eating light) before a big dinner meal works better for them, so I suggest testing out both strategies and see how you feel come dinner. If by dinner time you’re uncomfortably starving and can’t wait to dive head first into a bowl of spiced eggnog, then you know a meal or two is in order earlier in the day.

How To Stay Satisfied All Day Long

Fresh avocados are one of my favorite healthy foods any time of the year, but especially when I want to stay on track during the holidays.

One serving of fresh avocado (1/3 medium avocado) contains 6 grams of naturally good fats and 11% of the daily value for fiber.  Meals (and snacks) that contain fat and fiber are a great tool for feeling full, because fiber takes longer to digest and fat slows down digestion. In fact, one study funded by the Hass Avocado Board and conducted at Loma Linda University found that participants who added half an avocado to their lunch felt less inclined to snack between meals throughout the day. While the study findings can’t be applied to the general public due to the study size and other limitations, the results show promise for the satiety-inducing impacts of adding fresh avocado to your meals.  And I don’t know about you, but anything that helps me to feel satisfied enough to pass on the holiday cookies (that seem to be everywhere!) makes a big difference in how I feel well into the New Year.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the approaching holiday indulgences, a great place to start is by planning out how you can incorporate light and healthy, yet filling meals in between all the decadent ones. Bookmark some healthy recipes and have a stash of healthy, quick breakfasts and lunches that you can fall back on. When you fill up on healthier meals you’re less likely to overindulge, and if you DO overindulge – enjoy it, knowing you have a plan to jump back to the next day.

[Tweet “Every November, your top question for me is “how do I manage my weight during the holidays?” My answer: start well before the parties do”]

Fresh avocados can help make all your meals healthier, especially when you swap them out for heavier ingredients. They work really well as substitutes for other fats in holiday baked goods, festive spreads and dips, and even atop your favorite bite-sized appetizers. has plenty of resources to help you, too.

This tip sheet with simple swaps on how to eat an avocado a day will help you increase your fruit, fiber, and good fat intake.

This tool shows you how to makeover your meals with avocados.

And here you’ll find a slew of healthy recipes under 500 calories.

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