When the holidays arrive, many people forget all about their diets and healthy eating. Weight gains of 5 – 12 pounds are common between Halloween and Christmas. To make the holidays easier, these tips will help you enjoy all the treats of the holidays by maintaining healthy eating and lifestyle habits throughout the holiday season and beyond.
Moderation is the Key
Most traditional foods can be made low fat. However, in reality, during this time most foods are prepared with an extremely high fat content. For example - turkey is very lean without the skin, and gravy can be made without fat. Potatoes that are served without butter and gravy are very healthy. The beloved pumpkin pie is nutritious, although it can be made into a fatty dessert by adding whipped cream. I dare to say that most of us live in the world of ‘high-fat, high-calorie’ holiday meals. Rather than give up your favorite treats (even with the added fat and calories), have them in sensible amounts. Portion control is a major factor in healthy eating as well as weight control. Check serving sizes and calorie counts on packages to avoid eating more than you should. Remember, everything in moderation and portion control.
Don’t Forget Exercise
Even though the holidays are here, don't forget about exercise. You can keep weight off during the holiday season by staying active and burning off extra calories. And please understand, exercise does not have to be some formal program or some gym membership, it can be very simple. You should plan a walk after meals, this is great time to un-wind while saying good-bye to those extra calories; take the stairs at work, park a bit farther from stores when you shop (consider safety when shopping at night and always be aware of your surrounding), and take a few walks around the mall before you begin shopping.
Plan ahead so you can enjoy the holidays with less stress, more energy, and a great mood. During holiday parties and at family dinners, feel free to sample foods although you shouldn't splurge. Decide on what you plan to eat in advance, then stick to your plan. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruit, low fat dressings, and slices of lean meats. Before you go to a party, eat a small snack to help curb your appetite.
Remember to have alcohol in moderation. Having too many drinks can cripple your will power, and also add excess calories to your diet. In the place of alcohol, drink water with lemon. Water can help to limit your appetite and keep you from binging. Also make sure to avoid or limit eggnog, as each glass can have up to 300 calories.
Be flexible with your holiday eating, one extreme meal won't ruin your diet, just don't remain off-tract for too long. Try to balance your calories over a few days and don't let that one extreme meal set you back.
Plan ahead, eat well, stay flexible, stay active and enjoy the holidays in good health.
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