You recently walked away from the Thanksgiving table and it is onward toward the double holidays. December and New Year’s celebrations, which are filled with holiday dinners, lunches and parties with the central theme of high calorie foods that are difficult to resist. Each event has delicious breads, cakes, pies, pastries, cookies, hot chocolate, chips, dip, eggnog, candy and other seasonal goodies. Then, the Super Bowl football game with all high calorie noshing is not far behind.
How can you and your family thrive through these events with your good health in tact? The answer is surprisingly simple, albeit one needs to be willing to exercise self-discipline, self-restraint, commitment and remembering who benefits for your efforts.
You can decide to skip some of the tempting fare and eat only two bites of the high calorie items.
Wow! What self-control you say. Yes, indeed. But isn’t it for a worthy cause – YOU? I can hear the background snickering. You have got to be kidding me. Who can resist the temptations? The answer is – You Can. Yes, you can.
Tip for Healthy Holiday Eating:
• Plan to maintain your current weight, rather than setting up a difficult goal if you are currently on a weight reduction plan.
• Plan more time for exercise if you over indulge. Exercise not only uses up excess calories, it helps relieve stress. A moderate and daily increase in exercise partially offsets holiday indulgences. Include 10 or 15 minute brisk walks to your exercise routine and notice that you have warded off a pesky pound or two.
• Avoid skipping meals as a defense plan. Before leaving for an event, eat a light snack – raw vegetables without dip; fruit or nuts. You will be less apt to throw caution to the wind and over-indulge.
• Practice cooking your favorite dishes with fewer calories. Every recipe can be made with low fat and less-calories.
• Bring a healthy low-calorie dish to any event to share and most of all to avoid eating high-calorie fare.
• Survey the buffet table before filling your plate. Choose your favorite goodies and skip your least favorite. Include vegetables sans dip and fruit to have balanced nutrition.
• Eat only until you are satiated not stuffed. Savor each bite giving your taste buds time to enjoy it more.
• Remember alcohol is high calorie and also lessens your inhibitions and induces overeating, non-alcoholic beverages are high calorie with sugar. Consider drinking tea or water.
• You can go light on your next meal if you over indulge. It takes 500 calories/day (3,500 calories/week) above maintenance to gain one pound.
• Make your holiday season about giving and receiving joy with family, friends and colleagues; rather than food. Plan gatherings focused on activities – games, a walking tour of decorated homes, volunteering, etc.
With your plans well-in hand you can enjoy the holidays and have no regrets. Avoid restricting yourself from enjoying your favorite holiday goodies – moderation is the key. In the end, your mind and body will thank you. I wish Happy and Healthy holidays.