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
• 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 one-two 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
• 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. 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 yourself.
Get right back on track with healthy eating
and exercise the day after each holiday.