By following a few tips, you’ll remain trim all season long while enjoying delicious holiday meals and festivities more than ever:
Guard against stress eating
Family and social obligations, shopping and entertaining of the holidays can set you up for stress-induced snacking when surrounded by holiday goodies. The key is protecting yourself with healthy choices between celebrations. Whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans and grains will energize you and help ensure steady blood-sugar levels. Also helpful are a daily power shake plus portable snacks such as almonds, protein bars, string cheese, apples and carrot sticks.
Be spare with holiday fare
It’s not only what you choose, but also how much. Target small portions of rich foods, filling up on vegetables, salads and low-fat protein options. Give healthy items center stage, and high-fat/sugar choices smaller roles. Salads and light soups are ideal first courses. Rather than going to parties famished, eat a light snack before you leave. Once you arrive, begin with sparkling water and enjoy the socializing.
Outsmart the buffet
Try small amounts of several dishes. Emphasize vegetables and lean protein such as turkey and seafood, and minimize items such as buttery mashed potatoes, high-fat stuffing, candied yams and refined white bread and rolls. When you start to eat, take your time and enjoy. Remember, it takes at least 20 minutes for your system to register that you’re full.
Be strategic with sweets
Sample a bite or two of several treats rather than one big helping. And be aware that not all sweets are created equal. Traditional chocolate mousse pie – containing around 247 calories and 15 fat grams per slice – is a relatively low-calorie choice. One of the highest-calorie picks is pecan pie, at 503 calories and 27 grams of fat for a single slice. Top that with sweetened whipped cream and you’re up to 807 calories and 49 fat grams.
Maintain your exercise regimen
The holidays are when you need your fitness most. Along with helping you stay trim and energized, and moderating stress, daily exercise also promotes a healthy immune system. It can also help to counteract the “holiday blues” some people experience. Make fitness a social event by sharing power walks and nature hikes with family and friends.
Most importantly, savor the holiday season. By making smart choices, you’ll feel better, have more energy, and enjoy your time with friends and family more than ever. Cheers!