Ahh the holidays! Decorating the house and having good eats. Inviting friends over and having good eats. Going to holiday parties and having good eats. Opening presents, then having good eats. Oh, did I mention eating?
Yes, we do eat, drink, be merry and consume plenty of calories this time of year- all the Christmas cheer in the form of food and drink (did you taste grandma's fruitcake?), and those long New Year's parties that provide so much time around the snack table (not to mention the alcohol, which is loaded with calories). So how can one avoid the weight gain that seems inevitable, leading us to those drastic New Year resolutions we make that are so hard to accomplish?
Here are some tips to avoid weight gain and salvage your healthy lifestyle efforts:
- Don't show up to a party on an empty stomach. Eat something healthy and filling (fruits and vegetables) before you go to avoid indulging on high-calorie treats.
- Keep your distance from the snack table. Engage in conversation where grazing is not convenient.
- Do a sampler. Use a little plate and serve yourself a small quantity of each treat you
would like to taste. Slowly savoring the taste will give you the enjoyment you seek with a limited number of calories. You won't feel deprived, nor will you feel guilty for eating too much.
- Imbibe lightly! Not only does alcohol have lots of calories, but it diminishes control and increases the likelihood of indulging in more food.
- Focusing on other aspects of the holidays, such as socializing with friends and family and traveling around the area looking at Christmas decorations, provides distractions from eating and drinking.
- Better yet, walk around looking at holiday lights and get some physical activity!
So eat, drink and be merry over the holidays. Just moderate the eat and drink part - be as merry as you wish!
By Linda Steakley, RD
Huntsville Hospital Wellness Center Dietitian