This is the time of the year to celebrate and yes, you are going to be- eating- A lot! Be realistic! Don’t torture yourself dieting at every event during the season. Follow these simple tips to avoid gaining unwanted weight during the holiday season.
1. DO NOT ARRIVE HUNGRY TO A PARTY: You may feel tempted to skip meals during the day to have extra room for party foods. Don’t do it! Instead, have a small handful of nuts or a bowl of cereal before you go out so you are not so hungry that you make poor choices. Party foods are usually high-fat, high sugar foods that can cause weight gain.
2. FOCUS ON PEOPLE NOT ON FOOD: Remember; you are not there to eat. You are there to have fun with friends and family. Eating is just part of that. Make sure you greet and socialize with people before you get to the food, and don’t hang out near the food. Proximity increase temptation.
3. WATCH YOUR DRINKS: Remember that beverages can add calories, too. Alcoholic beverages and many holiday drinks may be loaded with calories from sugar. Drink them in moderation. And drink water and sugar free choices.
4. EAT SLOWLY: Take the time to enjoy your meal. Often, people eat so fast that they don’t have time to get the message they are full. Take small bites and savor the taste of the food-chances are you will eat less.
5. AVOID GOING BACK FOR SECOND HELPING, AND BE SELECTING: Try to make balanced plate of food just once during the party, but don’t stuff the plate! If must have a second hand, start with low-calorie foods like fruits and vegetables. If you still want that dessert, then indulge. Desserts are best when eaten only occasionally.
6. CHOOSE SMALL PORTIONS: Often, a taste is all you need to satisfy a craving or your curiosity. This allows you to eat different treats without adding too many calories.
7. BE REALISTIC: Trying to lose weight during the holiday may be a self-defeating goal. Strive to maintain your weight and have reasonable expectations. Forget the “All or Nothing” mindset. Depriving yourself of special holiday food or feeling guilty over a particular food choice is not part of a healthy strategy, and certainly not part of the holiday spirit.
8. GET SOME PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: If it is safe, go for a walk with family or friends to see holiday displays in your neighborhood. If you are at a party try to walk around talking with people. And why not dance?
- www.eatright.org. “National Center for Nutrition and Dietetics of the American Dietetic Association” extract on November 2010.
- www.rd411.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=480:healthy-holiday-eating&catid=90:dining-out,-holidays-and-special-occasions&Itemid=384 . Extract on November 2010.
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