HAPPY & HEALTHY HOLIDAY SEASON
Eating smart during the holidays can be quite the challenge, but it CAN be done! With a little bit of planning you CAN prevent the holiday belly-blues. Here are some important tips to focus on:
EAT WELL BEFORE GAME DAY
Skipping breakfast and/or lunch on Thanksgiving Day is a recipe for disaster! Although saving up calories for the big meal may seem like a good idea, taking away a meal or two will set you up to eat excessively at dinnertime – especially on the sugary, carby, high-fat foods. Instead, plan to have a protein-rich breakfast and lunch like a Greek yogurt, ½ cup of fiber cereal and a piece of fruit for breakfast and an egg white omelet with veggies for lunch.
LOAD UP ON THE GOODS
Scan the buffet or family-style selections carefully before going in for the kill. Get an assessment of what is at the table before you start piling the food on your plate. Take note of the healthiest options – they should consist of 75% of your plate. Think salad, veggies, lean protein. On that note – use a salad/appetizer plate for your meal, if possible. Since many of us are visual eaters, the smaller plate helps us control portions without feeling deprived. A filled-up smaller plate is always more appealing than a larger plate that looks empty.
PARTICIPATE IN THE FUN
(bring a dish that you can eat!)
There should be no excuses that there are no healthy options at your family table. Bring a dish or two that you know you and your company would like. Ask the host ahead of time what he/she will be cooking and if there is a healthy side-dish or appetizer that is missing, you can offer to bring a dish to share. Some great options include a raw brussel sprout salad, cauliflower mash (less carby version of mashed potatoes), or any roasted vegetable. Even a low-fat pumpkin mousse is a nice alternative to pumpkin pie!
PLAN SMART INDULGENCES
Instead of the ‘all-or-nothing’ approach to the eating, enjoy small portions of the food you really want. Choose 1 or 2 portion-controlled indulgences at the meal…and make it worth it! Whether it’s the cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing, marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes or a small slice of pumpkin pie – choose what YOU know you like best AND what you can realistically have in the proper portion. Eat your favorites s-l-o-w-l-y and savor every bite!
People tend to gain weight during the holiday season not only because they are eating more sweet treats, but also because they are less active. Don’t make excuses for not going to the gym. Take advantage of the time off and go for a walk after mealtime, put on some holiday music and dance or do what I plan on doing this holiday season…BBS TV!