EL PASO, Texas — The holidays can be filled with cheer and joy, but they can also be difficult for those trying to stay healthy. While festive treats are a favorite of many during the holidays, it can be difficult to enjoy them in moderation.
Dr. Kida Thompson, a family practitioner, says it is important to monitor and limit foods with sugar, heavy cream and fats. She also recommends watching your alcohol consumption, which she says can rise during the holiday season.
This can all be especially challenging, since many holiday activities are centered around food. The CDC recommends finding active traditions, like walking, visiting museums or going ice skating.
“There is pressure mainly because everyone else is doing it and that’s just what the season comes with,” Thompson said. “so if you’re at a family dinner and everyone’s having sweet treats and different types of foods, then you’re more likely to just kind of participate at that point in time.”
Thompson says when you start to see holiday treats everywhere, you’re more likely to give in and eat them.
“When you’re exposed to something ten times, as opposed to just one day as it is over Thanksgiving, your willpower may be just a little bit less and less,” Thompson said. “The mood is festive and cheery, you’re drinking and dancing, and you may just pick up something you may not normally eat.”
Thompson recommends swapping out white bread or pastas and rice for whole wheat equivalents. She also suggests swapping white potatoes for sweet potatoes, and using a non-dairy milk when a recipe requires milk for baking.