The holidays are a time of joy for some, stress for others, and lots of food for most. But with a little planning and keeping moderation in mind, the holiday season can be a healthy season too. Here are 7 tips for managing your wellness and weight over the holidays, from Dietician Allison Evanson:
1: Moderation, moderation, moderation – From the Thanksgiving table to office parties, unhealthy foods are likely to surround you this holiday season. When you decide to indulge, keep the portion small and really enjoy it – remember, one cookie will not add the pounds, but the same can’t be said for frequent treats throughout the holiday season.
2: Save Splurges for the Best – Avoid eating foods that don’t make the grade – if something indulgent isn’t great, put it down and save those calories for something that you can really savor.
3: Be Alcohol Aware – Not only does alcohol contain calories, but the more you drink the less likely you are to make good eating decisions. Try alternating alcoholic and non-alcoholic sugar-free beverages (water, unsweetened tea, etc).
4: Be Buffet Smart – Holiday buffets can be dangerous because of the number of high-fat and high-sugar items available. Try to fill ½ of your plate with fruits and/or veggies, ¼ with lean protein, and the remaining ¼ with a starchy side. Decide what you want before filling your plate, so you don’t end up with a scoop of everything!
5: Breakfast is Still the Most Important Part of the Day – It is ok to eat a little lighter during the day if you know you are going to have a big meal in the evening. However, try not to skip eating altogether, which is likely to cause overeating later in the day.
6: Keep Goals Realistic – If you have been working to lose weight, realize that a good goal for the holidays may be to maintain your weight.
7: Keep Exercising – Exercise can help work off those special treats as well as keep stress at bay. From walking with family to making time for your regular exercise routine, regular physical activity is good for mind and body.
Allison Evanson, MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian who works with patients to improve their lifestyle habits for disease prevention, weight loss, and health improvement. Allison helps patients find realistic and sustainable ways to incorporate healthy eating into everyday life. Have questions? Feel free to reach out to her here.