One of the most enjoyable aspects of holiday gatherings is the wonderful meals you get to share with family and friends. The problem with these meals is they sometimes aren’t the healthiest, which can seemingly derail the healthy habits you’ve been so diligent with throughout the year. While one unhealthy meal may not hurt you, it’s still possible to avoid going overboard and enjoy it. These tips can help you get through your holiday meal and still retain good senior living habits.

Pay Attention To Portion Sizes

Portion size is critical for keeping your blood sugar level stable. It’s also sometimes difficult to control portion sizes at a holiday meal since there’s so much food, and you want to try a little bit of everything. Just remember that leftovers will likely be available, so you shouldn’t have to go overboard with your holiday meal. Try a few items during the meal and then take some different items for leftovers the next day.

Substitute Ingredients When Preparing Dishes

When preparing holiday meal dishes, consider substituting ingredients with healthier options. If some of your healthy habits throughout the year include using almond or wheat flour instead of white flour, use it when preparing your holiday dish as well. Most people won’t be able to tell the difference, and you can feel better knowing it’s a healthier dish you can enjoy without guilt.

Choose More Proteins Than Carbs

There are usually plenty of carbs to choose from at holiday meals. Things like mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, rolls, and more provide the ultimate comfort when indulging in a meal. But if you’re trying to maintain good habits and still enjoy the meal, you won’t have to feel as guilty if you load up on proteins and limit carbs. The human body digests protein slower than carbs, so it’s easier to keep blood sugar levels stable. You don’t have to eliminate carbs completely, though. Just consider eating healthier carbs, like sweet potatoes, quinoa, berries, and other plant-based carbs.

Prioritize Exercising Before And After Meals

It’s easy to say you’ll limit your food intake before you see all the food, but it’s not the end of the world if you do go a little bit overboard. Combat this by going for a walk or doing other exercises before the meal. You may feel less inclined to overeat if you do this. And plan on going for a walk after you eat to prevent a spike in your blood sugar level. You may feel much better as a result and can get back to your good habits the next day.

An important aspect of senior living is focusing on what types of food you put in your body. When you develop healthy habits throughout the year, those habits don’t have to be thrown away during the holidays. By following these tips, you can enjoy a great meal with family and friends without feeling like you’ve gone overboard. If you need any more tips like these, contact Next Day Access.