Healthy Holiday Eating
The Holidays...Don't Over Indulge!
The holiday season is a time to celebrate with family and friends. Unfortunately, for many it also becomes a time for over-eating and weight gain. According to the National Institutes of Health, holiday eating can result in an extra pound or two every year. Over a lifetime, holiday weight gain can really add up. The holidays don't have to mean weight gain. Focus on a healthy balance of food, activity, and fun. By implementing a few simple tips you can stay healthy through the holiday season.
Ten Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating
- Be realistic. Don’t try to lose pounds during the holidays, instead try to maintain your current weight.
- Plan time for exercise. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain. A moderate and daily increase in exercise can help partially offset increased holiday eating. Try 10- or 15-minute brisk walks twice a day.
- Don’t skip meals. Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack like raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to curb your appetite. You will be less tempted to over-indulge.
- Survey party buffets before filling your plate. Choose your favorite foods and skip your least favorite. Include vegetables and fruits to keep your plate balanced.
- Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. Savor your favorite holiday treats while eating small portions. Sit down, get comfortable, and enjoy.
- Be careful with beverages. Alcohol can lessen inhibitions and induce overeating; non-alcoholic beverages can be full of calories and sugar.
- If you overeat at one meal go light on the next. It takes 500 calories per day (or 3,500 calories per week) above your normal/maintenance consumption to gain one pound. It is impossible to gain weight from one piece of pie!
- Take the focus off food. Turn candy and cookie making time into non-edible projects like making wreaths, dough art decorations or a gingerbread house. Plan group activities with family and friends that aren’t all about food. Try serving a holiday meal to the community, playing games or going on a walking tour of decorated homes.
- Bring your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering.
- Practice Healthy Holiday Cooking. Preparing favorite dishes lower in fat and calories will help promote healthy holiday eating. Incorporate some of these simple-cooking tips in traditional holiday recipes to make them healthier. Source: National Institutes of Health
Take a look at the Holiday Eating Guide prepared by the American Heart Association!