Friday, December 25, 2009

How To Survive the Holidays and Other Special Occasions ~ Your Guide to Healthy Eating All Year Long~

The holiday season is a special time to gather with friends and family, but as we know the holidays can play havoc on your wallet, your nerves and your waistline.  While this is a time for celebrations and watching and attending sports events it can also be quite stressful.  And many times stress leads to overeating or over indulging.  During stressful times the key is planning and preparation ~ this goes for the holidays and any other special occasions throughout the year.

While there are many mouthwatering meals and tempting appetizers at the center of these occasions, you don't have to avoid all of your favorite foods to eat healthy.  The key is to choose  a variety of healthy foods and limit your portion sizes.  Here are some tips to help you stay within your guidelines:

  • Have a snack ~ Eating a healthy snack before the party will keep you from overeating.
  • Plan Ahead ~ See what the food options are before you start eating then make a mental note of what you want to eat and how much you will eat.
  • Move away from the Buffet~  After you fix your plate, move away from the table - chatting with friends can often cause unconscious 'grazing'.
  • Enjoy the Flavor of the Dishes ~ Slow down - eating slowly and enjoying the flavors can reduce your chances of overeating.  Remember it takes your stomach about 20 minutes to realize that it is full.
  • Trim it Down ~ Eat smaller portions and trim off extra skin and fat from meats.
  • Contribute Healthy Dishes ~ Bring a healthy dish to the party and you can feel good about eating your healthy contribution and sharing it with others.
  • Practice Portion Control ~ You can eat a wider variety of foods including your favorites by controlling the amount you eat.
  • Drink plenty of Water ~ Water is a no-calorie beverage that will keep you full.
Whether you are the party giver or the party goer - Plan ahead; get your shopping done early, stay active and maintain your cool ~ this will help control your stress.  Also you must enjoy yourself; get caught up in the festivities, the decorations, the music the people and yes even the food (but the food on your terms!)

And finally, stay active; staying active will help you burn the excess calories.  Exercise is central to your overall health, especially during the holidays and other special occasions when calorie laden food is all around.  Maintain an exercise plan to avoid gaining weight between Thanksgiving and Christmas and those other special times of the year.

"Eat to Live Don't Live to Eat"

Your Continued Health and Success!
Miss Juilia

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