Developing Healthy Holiday Habits
For many, Thanksgiving marks the start of a joyous holiday season. For others, it marks the start of overindulgence in pastries, cakes, cookies, pies, candy, casseroles, etc. It can be hard to resist your favorite holiday treats, but you must remember that the holiday season will eventually come to an end and you may have to face the dreadful fact that you have put on a couple of pounds. Your holiday weight gain usually leads you to make a New Year’s resolution to get the weight off. Does this cycle sound familiar? Let’s put an end to bad holiday habits and end the year on a good note. Here are some tips to help you make better choices this holiday season:
· Take your focus off of losing weight. I know this sounds ridiculous, but just think about it. Food is everywhere during the holidays. I’m sure you will consume your favorite holiday treat(s) at some point during the next month or so. If you lost a few pounds before the holiday season, try focusing on not gaining those pounds back. Make your focus on maintaining your current weight.
· Don’t punish yourself. It is perfectly fine to eat holiday goodies. You may find that you need to cut back in other areas to compensate for the extra calories consumed. Don’t forget to monitor your portion sizes. They key is to eat wisely and in moderation.
· Remember to continue with your same exercise plan. If you do not have one, this is the perfect time to create one. Exercise can also help with stress that sometimes comes during the holiday season.
· If you are attending a holiday party or special function consider having a snack before leaving the house to help curve your appetite. Don’t skip meals prior to the party. Skipping meals before the event may cause you to overindulge once the party begins.
· If you are at a buffet or large dinner party look at all of the food choices and make a decision on what you will be eating ahead of time and stick to your decision. Be sure to add some fruits and vegetables to your plate.
· Be wise when consuming your calories. Eat your calories instead of drinking them. Go for the low calorie drinks such as diet soda, water and spritzers instead of eggnog, regular soda, and fruit punch. Don’t forget to include the calories in alcoholic beverages. They can add up fast.
· Try healthier cooking techniques such as replacing whole milk in mashed potatoes with low sodium broth or skim milk. Refrigerating your gravy will allow you to skim some of the fat off and lower the overall fat content. You can also trying adding fruit such as apples and cranberries to your dressing. When preparing desserts, heavy cream can be replaced with reduced fat evaporated milk. Oil can be substituted with applesauce and egg whites can be used in place of eggs (2 egg whites for every egg).
Don’t let the holiday season get you down. Remember that it is perfectly fine to enjoy holiday treats. Enjoy the foods that you choose and spend your calories wisely.