Healthy Eating This Holiday Season

4 12 2014

Season’s Greetings to all! I trust everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of warm smiles and family traditions. The Cathy head shotholidays are now in full swing and our social calendars are filling up quickly. Holiday gatherings mean special people, special foods and lots of temptation to overindulge. We often get so overwhelmed with holiday “cheer” that we may tend to put off the exercise and healthy eating habits we have worked so hard to achieve. Contrary to popular belief, the average person only gains a pound or two over the course of the holiday season (rather than 5-15lb as some people think). This does not seem like much, but often these are pounds that are never lost again after the holidays are over, resulting in “holiday creep” year after year. (Read about seasonal weight gain here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-gravity-weight/201011/the-holiday-creep-seasonal-weight-gain) Just because food is often the centerpiece of holiday gatherings does not mean you have to pack on the holiday pounds! Here are some great tips for making your holidays healthy!
Take the edge off hunger before a party. Arriving hungry can lead to overeating for sure, so eat a small snack before leaving. Some low fat cheese and fresh fruit could be just the trick to control your appetite.
Make only 1 trip to the “food table”. Give the table a good “once over” to see what there is to choose from. Choose only the foods you really want to eat, and keep your portions small-try using the smallest plate available.
Socialize. Conversation is calorie-free! Take the items you have chosen away from the table, catch up with old friends or make new ones. Chances are, if you are talking, you aren’t eating!
Fill up on low cal party foods. Go easy on fried appetizers and cocktails. They pack in the calories faster than you can say “Merry Christmas”! Start with fresh fruits and vegetables, or try boiled shrimp or scallops with lemon. If you know there will be little healthful foods to choose from, bring something great for everyone to share!
Go easy on the alcohol. Wine, beer, and cocktails can add hundreds of calories to your day and will decrease your inhibitions when it comes to food- you know how hard it is to resist rich, tempting foods after a couple of glasses of wine!
Enjoy some physical activity before or after a holiday feast. One of the keys to weight management is energy balance. If you are going to indulge, you need to burn it off! Take a fun exercise class you have never tried before (like Zumba), or find activities the whole family will enjoy such as walking, biking or touch (or tackle!) football.
Be realistic. Set realistic goals. You may need to scale down your weight loss goals or even focus on weight maintenance instead. Continuing to keep a record of what you are eating can really help you stay on track.
Above all, have fun! Enjoy all of your holiday traditions with family and friends, but maintain a healthy balance too.

Try making some of these healthy treats to share this holiday season (found on Pinterest, naturally!)

String Cheese Snowmen: http://www.nobiggie.net/string-cheese-snowmen/
Grinch Fruit Kabobs: http://www.momables.com/grinch-fruit-kabobs/
Christmas Quiche: http://www.dancingcarrots.com/main-dishes/christmas-quiche/
Christmas Tree Veggie Tray: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/565694403166017331/
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs: http://shrinkingkitchen.com/buffalo-chicken-meatballs/

grinch-fruit-kabobs-A

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