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How To Eat Through the Holidays And Not Pick Up Any Extra Pounds

November 25, 2009 in Body,Life

The holidays are a special time for family, friends, fun and food.  I’m not sure about you but as soon as the calendar turned to November, I started thinking about my favorite meal of the year….Thanksgiving Dinner which in our house consists of turkey, cornbread dressing, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, collard greens, sweet potato pies and german chocolate cake. Did you know that during the Thanksgiving holiday, the average person will ingest over 3 times the number of calories that they should be eating, if not more.

After Thanksgiving, of course, there is Christmas, so there is no escaping the need to address our eating habits up front. Family togetherness during the holidays usually equals lots of snacking and appetizers and big meals. Also, don’t forget all the baked treats! What’s a Mom to do?  Can you eat all of these things? The answer is yes, but in moderation.

Follow these balanced eating tips to help you stay in control of your fork:

1. Go in with a Plan. Better to have a plan going in than to have to plan to go to the gym every day after the holidays.  Eating healthy is all about making healthy choices. For Thanksgiving and other family holidays, allow yourself to indulge on one item such as the appetizers or the dessert – not both.

2. Don’t Be Too Strict. While you may be tempted to be tough on yourself during other times of the year, the holidays are a time you should allow for some relaxation from a strict routine. Don’t try to get through entire evenings without enjoying any of the holiday food. The starvation diet only works for so long until you fail and over-consume. Work on your moderation skills instead.

3. Don’t Punish Yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. If you do slip up and overeat one day, in the long run it won’t make much of a difference. Just tell yourself that you’ll try harder next time. Don’t be tempted to just give up and continue making poor eating choices. It’s when you have many bad days in a row that you can ruin a good diet plan.

4. Watch the Alcohol Intake. It’s true; alcohol usually flows freely at holiday events and it is real easy to consume more than you usually do. While you may be able to get away with having a few drinks spread out over the evening, remember that the calories do add up. Consider alternating between alcoholic drinks and hydrating with pure, refreshing water.

5. Avoid drinking soda and juices.  Calories add up quickly when we drink lots of soda and juice.  If you don’t want to drink bottled water all the time, try sparkling fruit infused water instead.  Sparkling fruit water can even satisfy your craving for carbonation.

6. Plan Healthy Meals. If you’re hosting any of the holiday events, consider going with some healthier alternatives to some popular meals. Healthy doesn’t always mean bland or unappealing. Get creative and try some new recipes.

7. Remember to Take Breaks. During a long evening with family and friends, sometimes you’ll lose track of your eating habits. Make it a point to take breaks where you know there isn’t a plate or a drink in your hand. Concentrate on the conversations you’re having instead.

8. Eat Before You Go.  If you’re off to a holiday event at someone else’s house, eat something healthy before you leave. This is especially important if you know you’ll be tempted by all the unhealthy treats that’ll be available. If you aren’t particularly hungry when you show up, you won’t feel such an urge to begin eating.

9.  Don’t graze while you cook.  Eat a meal or an adequate snack before you begin cooking for the day so you can more easily resist the urge to taste everything as you are fixing it.

10.  Skip the dinner rolls.  We eat bread with dinner out of habit.  Skip the calories by skipping the bread.  And if you must have bread go for whole wheat instead of white.

Just remember to enjoy the holidays with family and friends!  If you’re bummed about not getting to eat everything that you want, concentrate on all the other aspects of the holidays.  There are many other fun activities to engage in that don’t involve eating! No one wants to count calories during the holidays. Just remember to make healthy choices so that you can eat and be merry without the guilt.

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Happy Thanksgiving and Be Balanced!

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Related posts:

  1. How to Create a Healthier Lifestyle During the Holiday Season
  2. How to Avoid Overindulgence ….After Thanksgiving

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa November 25, 2009 at 4:29 pm

These are great tips. Leaving the bread out is a good idea and easy to do. Thanks for sharing.

Sharon Gray November 25, 2009 at 5:31 pm

This is good information and very helpful. I, like everyone else, can easily gain 10 pounds between now & New Years Day. Thanks for sharing.

Evonne November 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Perhaps we should start with the plan to take off the damage we did–and continue to do with the leftovers. Any tips!!!

Gloria December 3, 2009 at 10:16 am

Thanks Deona, all of your tips are great.

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