Healthy holiday habits

Holiday weight gain

How do you maintain your healthy eating habits during the holidays when family functions are centered on feasting? For most people, any attempt to be healthy during the holidays is tossed out the window and ignored until after New Year’s Day.

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development estimates that Americans gain about a pound during the winter holiday season, contrary to the popular belief that most gain five to ten pounds. One pound doesn’t sound like a lot of weight, but the NICHD says holiday weight usually accumulates through the years and is a contributing factor to obesity later in life.

Tips for eating healthy

  1. Exercise – Use your extra time to exercise and burn off excess holiday calories
  2. Choose lower fat ingredients – Use half-fat ingredients, low-calorie beers, wine and soft drinks
  3. Eat regularly – Maintain an eating schedule, don’t starve all day in anticipation for a big dinner party. Eating small low-calorie snacks throughout he day will prevent you from over eating at big events.
  4. Moderate alcohol intake – Alcohol is fattening too. Try low calorie beers and wines and try not to overindulge often.
  5. Eat until you are comfortably full – Don’t feel obliged to clear your plate. When you feel full, simply stop eating.

Holiday food choices

When partaking in celebrations, look at all the food choices and develop a plan that will allow you to enjoy your favorite foods without letting go of good eating habits. It’s OK to have holiday treats! Just remember to eat in moderation.

Healthy options:

  • Turkey breast
  • Chicken breast
  • Plain potatoes
  • Tossed salad
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Fresh fruit
  • Plain rice

Choose less often:

  • Beef prime rib
  • Pie
  • Cake
  • Stuffing
  • Gravy
  • Bread pudding
  • Candy
  • Eggnog