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Healthy Holiday Tips

The holiday season is fast approaching, and for many its become a time for over-eating and weight gain. According to the National Institutes of Health, holiday eating can lead a one to two pound gain every year…multiply that times 5 and that is 5 to 10 extra pounds. Don’t let this holiday season undo all the hard work you have done the last year. Learn how to enjoy the holidays with a balance of food, friends and family, and fun. Try these tips to stay healthy and keep added weight off!

  • Have realistic goals- don’t try to lose weight over the holidays, try to maintain your weight instead
  • Never go to a party hungry- always eat regular meals and snacks so that you don’t over eat at a party and consume extra calories
  • Before going to a party, have a small snack such as a salad, vegetables and low fat cheese, or a handful of nuts
  • Move! Aim to exercise most days of the week, if you are traveling and can’t get to the gym get outside! Go for a walk or jog in the morning for 30 minutes, or break it up into three 10 minute walks or two 15 minute walks a day. (Ask a friend of family member to come and it will be a great chance to reconnect)
  • Make time to stay active and exercise- exercise not only helps prevent weight gain but it can help with the stress that happens around the holidays
  • Look before you eat. Buffets can be a quick way to overeat. Look at all the options available on the table, and then fill your plate with mostly vegetables and fruit, and then start with small servings of the less healthy options. You can always go back for more but start out small. When deciding between what food to eat, opt for the ones that you don’t get to have all year
  • Enjoy your food. Eat it slowly and mindfully. Pause between bites and talk during meals so you are less likely to overeat
  • Choose drinks carefully-eggnogs and alcoholic beverages can add extra calories very quickly
        • Opt for diet sodas, light beers, and/or wine
      • Have a glass of water between each drink to help fill you up
      • If you overeat at a meal, don’t skip the next meal but eat a smaller portion
      • When you go to a party or event, always bring a healthy dish that you can  have without feeling guilty (i.e. salad, vegetable sticks, fruit bites, and so forth)
      • If there is a food you really want, let yourself have it! If you deny yourself foods you will likely end up overeating later so its better to just enjoy it (start out with a small piece to start and see if you can be satisfied with that!)
      • Lastly, make the holidays about being together and not all about eating. Plan active activities such as ice skating, walks, and shopping to spend time together