Holiday season healthy eating habit
Family, parties, traditions, and plenty of delicious, festive food abound over the holidays. However, most adults gain weight during the holiday season, according to study. But don't give up hope; this year could be different. It is possible to make wise, healthy choices while still having fun.
A registered dietitian, offers advice on how to enjoy the holidays without packing on the pounds.
1. Keep moving, consistent aerobic activity is one of the most efficient ways to maintain or reduce body weight. Increase your fitness routine throughout the holiday season to burn more calories. Increase your daily exercise time from 30 minutes to 35 or 40 minutes. If you currently exercise three times per week, increase your workout frequency to four to five times per week and increase the intensity of your workouts. (As usual, consult your doctor before beginning any fitness regimen.)
2. Indulge in a little deception. It's fine to err on the side of caution! During the Christmas season, allow yourself one small serving of a sweet or savory seasonal dish or beverage every couple of days. But keep in mind that you may need to make up for it later in the day by reducing your overall caloric intake or exercising to burn a few additional calories. You can still have your grandmother's legendary holiday pie, but moderation and forethought are required!
3. Manage the risk of succumbing to temptation. One strategy to efficiently minimize your calorie intake is to avoid even the slightest risk of coming into contact with "tempting" food. While you won't be able to influence every circumstance, concentrate on the ones you can. Do you store candies or cookies at your desk or on the counter, for example? Are your Christmas treats kept in high-traffic areas such as the dining room or pantry? Make a mental reminder to store goods in less accessible locations. If you bake, keep a small portion for yourself and your family and then distribute the remainder. If you receive food as a gift, either regift it, donate it, or give it away.
4. Make it a point to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables. Eating seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day is an excellent method to keep your stomach full without going overboard on calories. Fruits and vegetables have fewer calories and more nutrients per gram than other snack foods (such as chips, crackers, and cookies). Furthermore, the fiber in fruits and vegetables will keep you fuller for longer than typical snacks.
5. Never show up hungry to a party. Eat a healthy snack before going to a holiday party, such as a serving of your favorite fruit or a handful of nuts. Don't rush to the food table to fill up on snacks when you arrive at the party. Assess your hunger instead. When you're hungry, take a look at all of the food options. Being aware of all of your options will enable you to make more informed decisions.
6. Make your own party decisions. At parties, make heart-healthy choices. Bring a nutritious appetizer like pre-cut fresh vegetables, whole-wheat pita chips with Greek yogurt or hummus dip, corn chips and guacamole, or fruit salad. Alternatively, make a nutritious dessert such as fat-free pudding, fruit crisps, or low-sugar cookies. This way, you can rest assured that there will be at least one healthy option on the table. Reduce the amount of food you eat by using smaller dishes. Heavy cream or gravy sauces, as well as high-fat meats, should be avoided (such as meatballs, sausage, pigs-in-blankets or fried chicken wings). Make sure you're not consuming too many calories as well. Whether or whether they contain alcohol, holiday beverages can be heavy in sugar and calories. Limit yourself to a small glass or choose for lower-calorie beverages like coffee, tea, flavored water, dry wine, or spirits on the rocks instead. But, whatever you do, make sure you drink enough of water!
7. Politely decline. Many times, you feel compelled to eat meals because they are constantly placed in front of you. Learn to respectfully decline or ask for a little amount to be taken home and given to a neighbor, friend, or family member in need.
8. Concentrate on socializing rather than eating. At a party, avoid standing around the food table. Get out and mingle instead. Conversation, after all, is calorie-free! Try to stand more than you sit (it burns more calories!) and volunteer to assist clean up (it burns even more calories!). Be courteous and eat last; the meal will appear less attractive once everyone has dug their claws into it or if it has been sitting out for a while.