Holiday Cheats: Tips for Eating Healthy During the Holidays

Oh, come on, it’s the holidays! We both know you’re going to eat more than you should, let’s just embrace it.

I encourage my private clients to switch to a “nutrient per calorie” model for when they are going to cheat. That means, focusing on what’s on the table that is loaded with nutrients but low in calories and using those to enhance your “cheats”.

For example:

  • Cranberry Sauce. Assuming it’s homemade and not canned cranberry sauce (which likely means less sugar) this condiment is a great way to stretch that brownie/Nanaimo bar/cake you have on your plate. A couple of tablespoons on the side will give you a filling tart kick of phytonutrients and fibre. The hope is that you can now resist that second slice...
  • Mustard is your no cal best friend. Choose it over ketchup, cream sauce, brown gravy, mayonnaise or any other dip.  It also has more phytonutrients than any of them.
  • Pickles.  They may be salty but they are virtually no cal and can satisfy that crunch need.  Try to keep olives to a minimum; they do contain much more fat.
  • Your best booze bet. Try vodka with soda and a splash of cranberry or tonic and a squeeze of lime.
  • Lean meats are your go to choice. Avoid all high carb foods at a party. Nosh away on those lamb chops or chicken satays but leave the phyllo purses and pastry puffs on the platter.

If you want to get to the finish line (January 1st) without even more work to do, add steps each day in December.  It isn’t that hard to find 20 extra minutes per day to make up for all the extra eating.  Up an extra couple flights of stairs in the am and pm, stand on the subway or bus, walk from the corner of the parking lot instead of wasting gas to get a spot near the door and you are done!


About the Author:

Theresa Albert Theresa Albert


Theresa Albert is an author and on call, private nutritionist in Toronto. She is @theresaalbert on twitter and found daily at

Picture of Theresa Albert

Author: Theresa Albert

Theresa Albert is an on-camera food and health expert, nutritionist and writer who loves to spread the word on food. She is a Food Communications Specialist and Toronto Personal Nutritionist. Tweet with her at @theresaalbert & find her daily at

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