Saturday, November 29, 2008

Healthy Holiday Eating

The Thanksgiving meal is done! How many calories did you eat? If you were like me, it was probably alot! The holiday eating has just begun. I have at least 3 events at work and in my private life that will involve eating and drinking...and lots of it! That's in addition to the regular meals and the fast food eating that always happens during the shopping season. I know I for one don't want to look like the people in the picture! But I also want to enjoy my food and drink that accompanies this time of year! So here are a few healthy holiday eating tips, not my own, that will help keep some of that weight off during the holiday season:

1. Focus on weight maintenance vs. weight loss during the holidays. The holidays is NOT the time to decide to diet! You are only setting yourself up for failure. Don't plan on dieting until after the New Year.

2. Be physically active every day. There's only 1 way to really maintain or lose weight: burn more calories than you take in! Physical activity will not only help you burn the calories you are inputting, but it can also help relieve stress. Walk, go to the gym, bicycle...whatever it takes to move!

3. Eat a light snack before going to holiday parties. Get that belly a little full before you even get where you are going. You'll eat less!

4. Make a plan. Know where you're going, who you'll be with, and what the menu will be. Before you even get to the party, plan to eat and drink less.

5. Reduce the fat in holiday recipes. For the cooks, think of healthier choices when preparing the foods for your party or gathering. Try some of the following lower-fat recipe substitutions: 2 egg whites instead of 1 whole egg; low fat plain yogurt or low fat sour cream instead of sour cream; skim or 1% milk instead of whole milk; frozen yogurt instead of ice cream; chilled evaporated skim milk or other low fat whipped products such as Nutriwhip instead of whipped cream; low fat cheese instead of cheese with a higher fat content.

6. Choose your beverages wisely. Alcohol is high in calories. Liquors, sweet wines and sweet mixed drinks contain 150-450 calories per glass. Drink water or diet sodas, or if you do choose alcohol, select light wines and beers or drink no more than 1-2 drinks.

7. Maintain perspective: Overeating one day won't add a bunch of pounds on you. Even eating more throughout the holiday season does not add that many pounds. "The good news is that most people are not gaining five or six pounds during the holidays, but the bad news is that weight gained over the winter holidays isn't lost during the rest of the year," says Jack A. Yanovski, MD, head of Growth and Obesity at the National Institutes of Health.

Although food can be a big part of the season, it doesn’t have to be the focus. Holidays are a time to reunite with good friends and family, to share laughter and cheer, to celebrate and to give thanks. Focus on those things, not food!


mommanator said...

ya know we are putting more soy products in our meals, has less hi density fat, always have to think of that cholesterol!

Karl said...

Cool, Cool! And Soy is good for the menopause!

Pax Romano said...

You should have been at my family Thanksgiving. Turkey and all the fixin's as well as a freakin' lasagna!

Happily, since everyone (and to be fair, it was a huge crowd) ate like pigs, when I finally got to the buffet (it was set up buffet style) there was hardly anything left. Really! I had some turkey and stuffing and a bit of cranberry. I never ate so little on Thanksgiving.

Then, when the pies came out ... they were still frozen! I opted for a cup of joe and few cookies.

Karl said...

A Thanksgiving to remember! Just think on the positive side: you didn't consume too many calories!