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The Unhealthiest Eating Mistake Everyone's Making Right Now

Holidays are often an excuse to let loose with our dietary habits.
holiday meal

Holidays equal indulgence for most of us. It's the one time of year when weight loss is put on hold and time spent with friends and family around good food takes priority over whatever diet we're trying to follow.

But a new survey shows that more than half of us wouldn't be indulging as much in holiday food if we were aware of how much we're actually eating. (Related: The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.)

The survey was conducted by the makers of V8, and the findings they shared with Eat This, Not That! show that more than two-thirds of respondents (67%) agree that they don't really pay attention to how many calories they consume over the holidays, while almost 77% said that enjoying the holidays is more important than calorie-counting.

And while that certainly seems like a positive, stress-free attitude to have, the reason why most of us think this way is because we don't actually know how bad our holiday meals are. More than half of respondents (57%) said that they would be eating less if they knew how many calories they were actually consuming. It seems that the gluttonous attitude largely hinges on the old "ignorance is bliss" philosophy—between all the big meals, desserts, and alcoholic drinks, it's easy to lose track of our calorie count and justify away meals that are much bigger and richer than is good for us.

This is especially true for younger Americans like Gen Zers and Millennials, who are perhaps stricter with their diets during the year. More than 60% of them said they actually look forward to the holidays because it gives them an excuse to eat unhealthy foods.

And while the upcoming Christmas festivities feel like the perfect time to pause the calorie-counting and healthy eating, remember it doesn't have to be an all or nothing approach. There are many small tweaks you can make this holiday season in order to avoid overindulging. Here are some nutritionist-recommended tips for staying on track with healthy eating during the holidays.

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Mura Dominko
Mura Dominko is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!. Read more
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