Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Consider the following: Food is plentiful during the holidays. But in one week, an extra 500 calories a day translates into one pound of body weight. Parties, family gatherings, gifts, and food, food, food!… what a special time of year this is!

To help you through the season, Weight Watchers® offers these holiday tips.

Don’t starve
Arriving at the party famished could lead to overdoing it, so eat a healthy meal or snack beforehand, leaving just enough room (and POINTS® values) for a few small treats.

But make it water or other low-calorie beverage – you’ll slow down your eating and help fill yourself up. And limit your alcohol intake – it’s not only a major source of calories and POINTS values, it can weaken your ability to stick to your eating plan.

Know what you eat
Just because it’s the holidays, don’t forget all the weight management skills you’ve acquired. Even if you choose to indulge, keep journaling. By writing down what you’re eating you’re less apt to eat mindlessly.

Don’t deprive yourself
But do limit your portions. By eating small portions of only things you really want you’ll enjoy the specialties while staying on track.

Set priorities
Rate each dish on the buffet from one to10, with “10” being the best choices for you and “one” being foods you know you should limit or avoid. Fill your plate with the high numbers and only try a minimal amount (or none!) of the others.

Reduce sedentary behavior like surfing the net and gradually work up to 60 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. It will help in your weight-loss efforts or allow you to eat a bit more without guilt.

Be realistic
Losing weight during the holiday season might not be the most practical objective for you right now. Allow your goal during the holidays to be maintaining your weight, not weight loss. Then, once the holidays are over you can get right back to losing.

Healthy holiday cooking
With a few smart, common-sense changes in food preparation and eating habits, you will save calories and POINTS values without losing the flavor.

Here are some healthy suggestions:

–Instead of dark meat turkey…choose white meat turkey with skin removed
–Instead of making stuffing with turkey drippings…choose stuffing made with a fat-free broth
–Instead of preparing mashed potatoes with butter and milk…choose mashed potatoes with broth and fat-free or 1% milk
–Instead of following a traditional green bean casserole recipe…choose making it with low-fat soup and breadcrumbs
–Instead of candied sweet potatoes…choose baked sweet potatoes with light butter
–Instead of regular dressing on your salad…choose light or fat-free dressing
–Instead of topping fish with hollandaise sauce…choose fresh fruit salsa
–Instead of using pan drippings in your gravy…choose fat-free broth or bouillon
–Instead of double-crusted fruit pie…choose one-crust pumpkin pie

The above is courtesy of Weight Watchers.

In a nutshell: Make better choices, write it down, and keep moving. We are social beings and parties and food events are inevitable. A few good eating tips will keep you on target and make the holidays not only enjoyable but healthier as well.

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