According to a recent Weight Watchers report,
the average American gains 7-10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
Don’t panic! We do have one ground rule to follow to counter this: if you slip-up, get back on track with your regular healthy eating diet the next day and ramp up your exercise to compensate. Do not wait and do not write off the whole month as a holiday month – every day should stand on its own. Holidays usually mean more spare time – so we shouldn’t waste it. Exercise more – to burn off some of those extra holiday calories and stay on track.
We do have the power to prevent overeating during the holidays.
When you go to party…
- make sure to have a light snack before you leave home – it will reduce your desire to over-indulge at the party
- eat little and often during holidays – this minimizes the temptation of overeating during family gatherings and dinners with friends
- focus on socializing and having fun with your family and friends rather than being determined to sample everything there is on the holiday table
- plan before you eat – check out your food options and put on your plate what you want (foods that you won’t eat every day, so do not prepare regularly for yourself) and is in sync with your healthy diet
- drink a lot of water to keep you full
- have 1 glass of wine only… control of liquid portions is necessary :)…sorry
- If you find yourself on a table with unhealthy holiday food, eat more fruit and veggies, focus on grilled or baked entrees
- having an excuse for not eating more during a holiday dinner is always a good back-up plan – nobody will force you to eat
- say “No” if you don’t want to go down the sugary road
- feel free to leave something on your plate, no matter how full it was
- choose an appetizer size plate, if they are available. If only regular sized plates are available – fill half of it with veggies to practice your Precise Portions guidelines
Remember: treats during holidays are perfectly OK– we should spend our calories wisely and enjoy the food, portion control at all times ;)…goes a long way to helping you feel great! Not guilty and overstuffed!
The coin has 2 sides though. What if you were the host?
Here are some main strategies for healthy eating when we’re hosting a holiday party or dinner.
We often remember more of what we ate during the holidays than what we did. A great way to stay on track with your healthy diet during the holidays is to review the recipes you want to use ahead of time and do a recipe makeover where appropriate. For instance replace the sugars with Splenda, or fats with healthier options, or some of the regular flour with whole wheat or almond flour. And of course, help your guests with portion control. Provide smaller appetizer plates, even during the main course. More tips below:
- use zero calories substitutes of white sugar, use butter sparingly, add raisins to desserts rather than chocolate.
- choose lean meat from the local butcher. Turkey and chicken are excellent choices for easy-to-cook healthy holiday dinner
- focus on baking or grilling your holidays meals and use low-fat ingredients
- use the mini size pans for baking – mini muffin cups for side dishes, mac and cheese or dressings, stuffings, etc.
- have at least 2 non-starchy veggies – variety is important for healthy eating; remember the green veggies – they can be the healthiest and lowest in calories
- use smaller plates (e.g. salad plates), cups and bowls to control the portions during the party
- give everybody a small taste of pie – cut it in to 12-16 pieces rather than 6 to 8 pieces
Treats and sweets are expected at the holiday table – with portion control and healthy preparation, treats and sweets can be healthy and a nice addition to the holiday dinner or party.
How do you prepare your favorite holiday puddings and cakes in a healthy way?
Looking forward to hearing your tips on holiday healthy eating and some holiday recipes in the comments 🙂