Home / Blog / Happy and Healthy Holidays: 5 Tips for Portion Control

How do you enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season? It’s easier than you think! We’re back with another post in our Happy and Healthy Holidays mini-series — this time with five tips for portion control. (If you missed our first post, you can find it here.)

This is Olivia, the iNatural blogger. If you’re like me, you have a massive sweet tooth and an inclination to celebrate. After all, there’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than to indulge in a mug of hot chocolate, a cookie or three, a glass of wine, a second helping of sweet potato casserole… And there I stand, two hours later, wondering how many days’ worth of meals I just PWNED.

By day, I’m a ballet dancer (just call me natural-foods-blogger-by-night), so I’m always extra careful to ensure I’m getting enough nutrients during the holiday season (i.e. Nutcracker season) while limiting my intake of empty calories. At iNatural, we’re passionate about natural foods and a healthy diet. One of the most important ways to make it a healthy holiday season? Portion control.

Portion Control

Here are five easy ways to watch your portions this holiday season:

1. Use smaller dishes and smaller utensils.

This way reasonable portions actually fill your dish instead of looking lonely on a platter masquerading as a plate. I find using utensils that aren’t giant also helps me eat at a reasonable rate. As an added bonus, smaller dishes are easier to wash!

2. Take about half of what you think you want.

You can always get more if you are genuinely still hungry! Chances are some dishes aren’t as tasty as they appear. I frequently take a large helping of some dish, only to find that I like the green beans better. Trying small portions first lets you select only the best for a second taste.

Who knows? You might get so involved in the dinner conversation that your plate of real portions (not super-inflated servings) occupies you until it’s time for an after-dinner coffee.

3. Get an idea of what an actual serving looks like.

It can be hard to translate a number into food on a plate. One serving is often much less than what I’d normally pick for myself as a portion. Measure out your servings a few times to get an idea of how much food you’re actually consuming.

This applies to drinks as well. One serving of wine is 5 oz — that’s just a little more than half a cup! Experiment with your wine glasses at home: Fill your glass with water as if you were serving yourself. Then pour the water into a measuring cup to see how many servings are in your single glass of wine.

Speaking of spirits…

4. Limit alcohol consumption.

There really isn’t any nutritional value to be gained from alcohol. To help control consumption, make yourself drink a full glass of water before you make your way to the punch bowl — every time. Also, try these combinations:

  • White wine and seltzer water spritzer (or try switching to organic wine for a drink free of chemicals and a healthier planet)
  • Holiday punch and juice with no added sugar (think cranberry for an extra antioxidant boost!)
  • Light beer and ginger ale shandy (try to get the real stuff without a bunch of artificial colors or chemicals added)

5. Prioritize amongst less nutritious options.

Are those store-bought cookies really as good as Grandma’s gingersnaps? Pick your favorite cookie and let the others be. If the family potluck buffet has three different roll/bread options, pick just one. There’s no rule that says you must try every food available to you.


With a little awareness, keeping portion sizes in check is easy. It’s also one of the single biggest changes you can make to maintain a healthy diet this holiday season. Stay tuned for more tips about healthy eating and healthy lifestyles from the iNatural blog. What are some of your biggest challenges to eating healthy during the holidays? Leave a comment below!

As always, we welcome feedback. Just leave a comment, email us at info@inaturalcatering.com, or use our contact form. Thanks, and we hope to hear from you soon.

 
 

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