1:29 pm - Saturday March 25, 2017

Holiday Eating Survival Guide

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Written by Rebecca Faulkner, MS, RD

A few weeks ago, we celebrated Thanksgiving. Now, Christmas is right around the corner. While celebrating, it is easy to gain ten even twenty pounds between now and Three Kings. Today’s nutrition tip will provide you helpful strategies that will help you get through the holiday season without expanding your waistline.

The big challenge is to have fun at special eating occasions, without jeopardizing your body weight. Therefore, focusing on maintaining your weight instead of weight loss may be a more realistic goal.

Holiday Eating Survival Guide

Make a list of all the holiday meals and parties you have been invited to, then mark them on a calendar. This is a good reminder of the days you will be encounter tempting foods. On such days, eat lightly at other meals to balance the fat in the party food. If you arrive at a party hungry, you will more than likely overeat. One defensive tactic is to eat a low calorie snack, such as a piece of fruit, or ½ cup of a high fiber cereal with non fat milk.

  • Go easy on second helpings. To keep temptation to a minimum, socialize away from the buffet table. Focus on the people instead of the food. Eat your calories instead of drinking them.

  • Stick to lower calorie or calorie-free drinks (diet sodas, water) instead of punches, eggnogs, and mixed drinks that can have up to 500 calories per cup.

  • Alcohol can contribute a large number of calories. If drinking is an important way of socializing, a helpful strategy may be to try diet sodas or seltzer with alcoholic beverages. Stand away from the bar while socializing with friends.

  • Watch your portion sizes. Eat from a smaller plate. Share your favorite rich holiday desserts with a friend.

  • The best holiday strategy is to make sure you get regular exercise. Walking, swimming, biking, not only help you burn off the extra calories, but will also tone your muscles, and keep holiday stresses and strains down.

  • If you forget these strategies, just remember to keep exercising, portion control, and limit high-calorie beverages at your holiday parties. In doing this, you will decrease your chances of gaining weight this holiday season.

For those of you cooking this holiday season don’t forget food safety. Avoid Cross contamination, thoroughly wash your hands, and keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.

Merry Christmas and God bless!

 

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