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Tips for Healthier Holidays

Thursday, December 03, 2015

 

The holidays are here again and that means food, food and more food. Holiday parties and seasonal cheer often present an overload of eating. Attending holiday parties can be a challenge because the temptation is great to sample luscious and sinful treats. The following suggestions can help you make healthy eating decisions while cooking and celebrating.

Eat something before you go.

Have some vegetables, a salad or a light protein snack before you go out to curb your appetite and be less likely to be tempted to overeat when you get to the party.

Use substitutes.

Substitutions can cut down on calories and fat in your favorite holiday recipes. Try using chicken broth and skim milk instead of butter, egg whites instead of the whole egg or replace mayonnaise with non-fat yogurt.

Don’t panic when you step on the scale.

If you weigh yourself after Thanksgiving and discover that you are two pounds heavier, don’t panic. It’s not fat. When the body breaks down carbohydrates, like those found in potatoes, breads and stuffing, it converts them into carbon dioxide and water. The extra weight is mostly water and should be gone within days.

Make wise choices.

You can enjoy dessert this holiday season if you remember to indulge in moderation and consider the calories. For example, one slice of pecan pie has the same number of calories as two pieces of apple pie. Have a sparkling water with a twist instead of the extra calories found in cocktails.

Exercise.

Put on your walking shoes and head for the mall. Or get outside to walk and take the dog, do yard work or play with the kids. Exercise will also help to reduce the stresses of the holiday season, so you’ll feel better.

Try healthy gift giving.

Some healthier alternatives to sweets as your stocking stuffers are an assortment of herbal teas, a vegetarian cookbook, lotions and bath items, vitamin E lip balm, or a gift certificate to a spa or yoga class.

Enjoy the company.

The holidays are a time to spend with those we love. By focusing on the time you share with your loved ones, you can create memories that will last a lifetime.