The holidays are a time to
enjoy friends, family and food! And with them right around the corner, you will
be barraged with lots of your favorite foods. However, how are you going
to enjoy the holidays and not regret eating too much and gaining weight? Mystic
Valley Elder Services Registered Dietitian Candace Quigley offers some tips on
how you can still enjoy eating your favorite foods without regret.
Weeks before the holiday arrives, be sure to get some exercise and eat healthy.
As the season gets into full swing, not only will you be celebrating on that
holiday but also you will most likely be attending holiday parties.
Unfortunately, holiday celebrations tend to be all about food. On average,
Americans gain approximately 1-2 pounds around the holidays and it tends to
stick and accumulate over the years.
• No skipping
breakfast. High fiber foods will satisfy hunger.
Do not arrive at your party famished because you will be more likely to eat too
much. If dinner is going to be late, then have a healthy snack before you
• Most people will consume
several handfuls of chips and dip, nuts, puffs, and other appetizers. Choose
only one favorite item and do not graze all day until the meal starts. Do not
hang around the food table; Focus on people, not the food.
• Enjoy your favorite
beverage and then switch to water or a non-calorie drink. Try to stay
away from punches, eggnog and mixed drinks. Try flavored sparkling water.
When dinner is served, there are usually many choices. Choose those items
that you only have on the holiday or are special to you. You could start
by putting vegetables on your plate before you put the entrée on it. Survey the
entire table before you take any food. Decide which foods are worth eating and
which you can ignore and stick to that decision.
• Eat slowly and savor every
bite; it takes 20 minutes before your stomach registers that you are full.
• You don’t have to be a
member of the clean plate club. You can leave some bites behind.
• If you plan on having
seconds, wait at least 20 minutes. Even though many of the foods are
healthy, they all have calories and should be enjoyed in moderation.
• Go ahead and have
dessert! Just keep it a reasonable portion and eat slowly. Again, pick an
item that is your favorite that you only have during the holidays.
• Say NO to food
pushers. Smile and say, “Thanks for making that delicious dessert, but I
am full right now. Can I take some home for later?”
• Get some physical
activity—before, during or after the celebrations. Go for a walk before you
leave to go to the party or maybe you will have time after dinner. Still watch
your football game but get up between quarters and during ads to mobilize
Get right back on track with healthy eating
and exercise the day after each holiday.