Dalia Blunt, M.S., Certified Nutritionist and Personal Trainer
During the holidays it is common to attend gatherings and parties with family, friends and coworkers. Unfortunately, this means you will be surrounded by decadent desserts, carb-packed dishes and high calorie drinks which can do a number on your waistline. Instead of letting all the holiday goodies and temptations sabotage your diet, here are some ways you can still enjoy your favorite treats without packing on the pounds.
Moderation is key. Instead of loading up your plate with heaping amounts of food, be sure to only take small portions, especially if there are several foods you are wanting to try. A good rule of thumb is to take about two tablespoons of your favorite dishes which will allow you to taste different foods without going overboard. Don’t forget to chew slowly and savor every bite.
Don’t come starving. A sure way to overeat at a holiday party is going there on an empty stomach. Be sure to eat high protein and high fiber foods throughout the day, which will help you stay fuller longer. Eating a small snack with protein or fiber before the celebration can help curb your appetite and keep you from overindulging.
Be selective. While it is tempting to try every single dish on the table, try to be more selective and only choose foods that you love and avoid the ones that you don’t. This is especially true for desserts, which tend to be high in sugar and saturated fat. Try to also opt for dishes that are protein-based (such as ham or turkey) instead of carb-based (such as stuffing or potatoes).
Be wary of liquid calories. Along with holiday parties come high calorie beverages such as alcoholic drinks, ciders and egg nog. Just a couple of cocktails can set you back around 1000 calories! Try limiting yourself to one alcoholic beverage and drinking water or seltzer the rest of the time.
Keep up with your workout routine. The holidays are a busy time of year, but this doesn’t mean you should skip your workout routine; this will only hinder your health goals further. Even sneaking in exercise in small doses such as taking the stairs or going for a walk after dinner can go a long way in helping you maintain your weight during the holiday season.
Enjoy the company! Instead of making food the primary focus at a holiday party, try to focus on the company and enjoy spending time with the family and friends that are there. Happy holidays!
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