Help for Healthy Holidays

Like it or not, the holidays are upon us. We sort of ease into the season with Halloween, but now that the ghosts and goblins have gone back into the attic until next year, it is hard to escape the fact that Thanksgiving is next week and Christmas will sneak up on us just a month later.

‘Tis the season for giving. ‘Tis the season for shopping. And ’tis the season for eating.

While the holiday parties and gatherings are fun, it isn’t much fun to pack on the pounds the last few weeks of the year. Remembering a few simple things can prevent the scale from creeping up, but still allow you to enjoy yourself during this festive season.

Kathryn Brown, MS, RD, LDN suggests these party tips:

  • Avoid arriving at the party starving. It is better to eat a small, healthy snack beforehand, as you will be less likely to make bad choices and overeat during the party.
  • Load up your plate with fresh veggies and fruit.
  • Do not stand near the food table. It is too tempting to “graze.”
  • Remember that beverages contain calories. If you are going to drink alcohol, try alternating with a glass of water to avoid drinking too much…this will also help prevent the dreaded hangover.

Brown also suggests avoiding keeping treats around your house, as you will be more likely to eat them. If you must bake, give the majority away as gifts. If you are taking a dish to gathering, try a healthy recipe this year (3-bean salad or low-fat dessert). If you can’t resist taking Grandma’s famous dessert, try substituting some of the ingredients with low-fat or low-sugar alternatives.

Also, while shopping during the holidays, plan ahead. Pack a healthy snack to avoid temptations in the food court or at fast food restaurants. While schedules are often erratic during the holidays, try to make time for exercise, even if it is for a short duration.

Following these suggestions will ensure a happy and healthy holiday season. Your waistline will thank you in the new year.