Holiday Eating the Healthy WayDecember 12, 2022
The average weight gain between Halloween and the New Year is around 5lbs, but this does not have to be the case for YOU this year. Here are some tips from a dietitian to get you through the holidays without the unwanted weight gain:
1. Log your Foods.
Food logging can be very helping in making us aware of what we are eating. This is most helpful around the holidays where we have those little pieces of Halloween candy sitting around the house tempting us or leftover pie from Thanksgiving looking at us every time we open the fridge. There are some great apps on the phone that are free to do food logs. It is best to try to do this at each meal so you know how many calories you have left as you go through the day.
2. Focus on your Favorites.
If you are attending an appetizer party or a buffet over the holidays, survey all the food options first before picking up a plate. Choose your very favorites on half of your plate and the rest fill up with vegetable dishes and fruit. If you are in charge of bringing a dish, try to focus on something healthy that would be a “go to” for you.
3. Don’t Head out of the House Hungry.
Hungry hurts, so not only could this put us in a bad mood, but it puts us at risk for overindulging on the wrong foods. If you are going to a holiday event, have something small before such as a protein shake, ½ sandwich or apple and peanut butter to curb that appetite a bit.
4. Limit Beverage Calories.
Calories that come from food is more satisfying than calories that come from beverages. Try to limit caloric beverages over the holidays including punch, juices, soda and alcoholic beverages. If you are indulging in an alcoholic beverage, something like a light beer can run as low as 60 calories where one craft beer can be over 200 calories. A wine spritzer with equal parts sparkling water and wine would be about 40 calories where a glass of wine is 120 calories.
Exercise around the holidays can not only help ward off additional calories, but it can make us more aware about what we are putting into our mouth. It will take a 130lb woman 45 minutes of moderate to high intensity exercise to burn off 1 candy bar. If it is worth it and we love the candy bar, eat it, but if not, then maybe take a pass and save those extra calories for something else.
6. Focus on Family and Friends.
The real reason for the season is to get together with loved ones and enjoy the company of others. As long as we remember this going through the season and think about food as most of the time fueling our bodies with a little bit of fun in there too, it makes it easier to refocus priorities in a healthy way! Happy Holidays!