Ten Healthy Holiday Eating Tips
- Be realistic. Set appropriate short-term goals for weight loss during the holidays, and be sure to at least maintain your current weight.
- Plan time for exercise. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain. A moderate and daily increase in exercise can help partially offset increased holiday eating. Try to double your time for exercise during the holidays, if possible.
- Don’t skip meals, and plan sensibly. Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack like raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to curb your appetite. You will be less tempted to over-indulge.
- Survey party buffets thoroughly before filling your plate. Choose your favorite foods and skip any wasted calories. Include lots of vegetables and fruits to balance your plate.
- Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. Savor your favorite holiday treats while eating small portions. Sit down, get comfortable, and enjoy. Remember, portion size is critical!
- As always, NEVER drink your calories.
- If you overeat at one meal, go light on the next. Plan your caloric intake first thing each morning. Keep track during the day, and save calories for a special indulgence later on.
- Take the focus off food. Turn candy and cookie making time into non-edible projects like making wreaths, dough art decorations or a gingerbread house. Plan group activities with family and friends that aren’t all about food. Try serving a holiday meal to the community, playing games, or going on a walking tour of decorated homes.
- Bring your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering.
- Practice Healthy Holiday Cooking. Preparing favorite dishes lower in fat and calories will help promote healthy holiday eating. Here are a few simple tips to make traditional holiday meals healthier:
- Gravy — Refrigerate the gravy to harden fat. Skim the fat off. This will save a whopping 56 gm of fat per cup.
- Dressing — Use a little less bread and add more onions, garlic, celery, and vegetables. Add fruits such as cranberries or apples. Moisten or flavor with low fat low sodium chicken or vegetable broth and applesauce.
- Turkey – Enjoy delicious, roasted turkey breast without the skin and save 11 grams of saturated fat per 3 oz serving.
- Green Bean Casserole — Cook fresh green beans with chunks of potatoes instead of cream soup. Top with almonds instead of fried onion rings.
- Mashed Potatoes — Use skim milk, chicken broth, garlic or garlic powder, and Parmesan cheese instead of whole milk and butter.
- Quick & Healthy Holiday Nog Recipe — Four bananas, 1-1/2 cups skim milk or soy milk, 1-1/2 cups plain nonfat yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon rum extract, and ground nutmeg. Blend all ingredients except nutmeg. Puree until smooth. Top with nutmeg.
- Desserts — Make a crustless pumpkin pie. Substitute two egg whites for each whole egg in baked recipes. Replace heavy cream with evaporated skim milk in cheesecakes and cream pies. Top cakes with fresh fruit, fruit sauce, or a sprinkle of powdered sugar instead of fattening frosting.
Enjoy the holidays, everyone! Keep up the great work!