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Healthy Eating during the Holiday Season

On average, people gain 7 to 8 pounds during the holidays. It is extremely easy to over indulge during the holidays because of the abundance of food at parties and family gatherings.

One sensible eating strategy that always works for me is to use a cake plate instead of a dinner plate. A cake plate holds less food which equals fewer calories. Just remember not to refill your little plate and your effort to watch your calorie intake will pay off.

Party foods are usually higher in fat and calories and are smaller in size so you can easily be deceived by how many calories you are actually consuming. Also, at party or family gatherings there is a lot of socializing going on and there is a tendency to not pay attention to what’s going in your mouth if you are concentrating on what people are saying. Along with the socializing there also comes drinking. A lot of times we forget the enormous amount of calories in alcoholic beverages. Besides, who can resist the delicious punch that Grandma Jane makes with the sherbet added in for extra sweetness. If you don’t want the extra calories then you must refuse. Drink water and think about the memories instead. You’ve had Grandma Jane’s punch before haven’t you?

Another trick I use to keep the calories down while eating at a social function is to eat from the rainbow. Typically your fruits and vegetables contain the most color. A basic rule that will keep you out of trouble is to avoid anything white. For example, sugar, mayo, white bread, mashed potatoes, pasta etc.

Where are the most calories hidden? In the sauces. They are everywhere, on the pasta, dips for chips, meatballs are soaking in the sweet and sour, salad dressings, and you catch my drift.

The obvious calories that are the most tempting are on the fabulous dessert table. Don’t deny yourself the yummy goodness but if you take a piece of the lemon cream cheese delight, take 2 bites and be done. Don’t eat the whole slice.

If you have a decent exercise routine in place then that’s great. You can opt to stay at the gym for ten to fifteen more minutes and that amount of extra exercise could easily burn the extra calories consumed at the Thanksgiving potluck or annual Christmas Extravaganza. Whatever the case may be, remember one thing, the health club industry is counting on you gaining weight this holiday season. Don’t make their dreams come true. Have your new year’s resolution be something different from shedding a few pounds. If you don’t currently exercise, I strongly suggest you start as it is the best way to burn unwanted calories. Getting exercise is as simple as taking a walk around the block.

Another good way to keep from putting on extra pounds during the holiday season is to know your schedule. What I mean by that is if you know you are going to a function where there is going to snacks, snacks and more snacks served then eat a small meal before you go so you won’t be hungry when you get there.

Finally, the best tip I can give you for a healthy eating strategy this holiday season is to keep in mind that all the wonderful foods set before you are available all year round and you don’t have to eat them all in one setting. Aunt Helen’s sweet potato pie has a recipe. Ask her for it and the next time you are craving it, make it for yourself. Just don’t eat it by yourself.


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