Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Eat healthy during the holiday season

Dr. Dean Ornish
Image via Wikipedia

Are the holidays a time for…overeating? I always gain weight during the holiday. Since I have lost 18 pounds now — I don’t want to gain any of it back.

Here is some healthy holiday eating tips from Dr. Dean Ornish. (pictured)

•    •        Americans gain 1 to 1½ pounds annually during the holiday season
•    •        Leading health experts believe most midlife weight gain comes from poor holiday eating habits

To help fight holiday weight gain, best-selling author and health expert Dr. Dean Ornish created this list of 16 Steps to Healthy Holiday Eating.

“How to Indulge During the Holidays” – Dr. Dean Ornish

•    1.       Eat something beforehand. If you don’t eat all day, you may arrive at holiday meals and parties ravenous and lose control.
•    2.       Put 20 percent fewer high-calorie foods and 20 percent more fruits and vegetables on your plate. Studies show that you probably won’t notice the difference.
•    3.       Eat the healthier foods first – they will fill you up somewhat, so you’ll be less likely to overeat the more indulgent foods.
•    4.       Choose foods that leave evidence – e.g., keep the shrimp tails and chicken wing bones on your plate after you’ve eaten them. Studies show that if you have cues to see how much you’ve eaten, you’ll eat less.
•    5.       Try not to put more than two or three items on your plate at one time. We eat more when food is in front of us.
•    6.       Eat more slowly. The faster we eat, the more we eat. Sip water between bites. Holiday meals last longer than typical meals. If you wolf down your food, your plate may be clean while others are still eating, which will lead to seconds.
•    7.       If you have a choice, use a smaller plate!
•    8.       If you’re at someone’s home, try to serve yourself instead of allowing your relative to heap your plate full.
•    9.       Arrive a little late and make a grand entrance. More of the indulgent foods will be gone by then.
•    10.   If you go to a restaurant, ask your server not to put bread on the table beforehand. If it’s there, you’ll probably eat it. Leave more room for your favorite holiday foods instead.
•    11.   Substitute cranberry sauce for gravy, which is usually high in fat and calories. Cranberry sauce is nutritious and loaded with antioxidants (Blogger: and sugar unless you make your own).
•    12.   If you eat baked potatoes and yams, avoid toppings such as butter, cheese, bacon and sour cream. If possible, substitute low-fat yogurt or nonfat sour cream.
•    13.   Watch the alcohol, which is high in calories and slows your metabolism. Also, too much alcohol can impair judgment, so the more you drink, the more you’re likely to eat.
•    14.   Close your eyes and savor the food periodically during the meal. You’ll consume fewer calories and experience more pleasure.
•    15.   Have just a few bites of dessert. The first and last bites are always the best, anyway.
•    16.   Take a walk after dinner. You don’t have to hike five miles. A stroll around the block is a good start. Walking not only burns calories, it also helps relieve bloating and prevent heartburn.

For more information, and additional tips from Dr. Ornish on how to make healthy choices throughout the holiday season, visit www.marshealthyliving.com. I’m reaching out on behalf of Mars.

(Blogger: Eeek! the candy corporation – there is no way that candy is healthy! #15 – Eat one bite of that candy bar and throw it in the freezer for another day or eat more cranberry sauce.)

  1. Yikes! I see Mars is trying to rebrand itself but a flower with a big chocolate bon bon in the middle — that is a chocolate bon bon, right? — is giving a mixed message for sure.

    Still, these are good tips and I guess if you’re in the candy selling business it’s a smart strategy. Wonder how much they paid Dean Ornish to use his name?

  2. Edie
    Exactly. That disturbs me.

    Why couldn’t Dean Ornish put out these tips without mucking with Mars candy bars?

    On a much smaller scale, it reeks of these doctors who promote bad medical devices and drugs to their colleagues at medical conventions.

    But you’re right they are good tips. I could’ve left off the “Mars” business but that’s how the press release came to me so I included it. Now I will be more skeptical.

  3. After reading the post with good tips, I thought it would be good to mention that a person should also gauge the amount of calories they eat by the amount of calories their body burns. There actually is available an online calculator that will tell you how many calories your body is burning and how many calories you should eat per day to gain or lose weight. For anyone interested the weight gain calculator is located at http://howtogainweight123.com . This could help you to know how to adjust your diet to either gain weight or lose weight

Leave a Reply