Today’s post comes from Julie Lother, Fitness Director at North Memorial Medical Center’s Employee Fitness Center. Her advice will help you stay healthy during the holidays, while still enjoying the season’s festivities.
Avoid Overeating During the Holidays
The holiday season is prime time for overeating. To know if you have overeaten, look at the buffet table. Have you eaten every selection offered, and then some? How about breakfast and lunch? Did you skip both to consume more food at the holiday party?
Here are a few simple steps you can take to maintain your weight over the holidays, and still have fun.
- Don’t Deprive. Maintaining your current weight over the holidays is a more realistic goal than trying to lose weight or diet. Enjoy the delicious holiday food, but remember to practice moderation.
- Eat Before You Eat. Skipping meals to save room for your favorite holiday foods is a recipe for disaster. If your stomach is empty before the big meal, you will end up eating more food and consuming more calories. Before the meal, eat a small bowl of cereal, nuts, fruits or veggies, half of a sandwich, or a small salad.
- Bigger Isn’t Better. Often times, the plate size is larger than the stomach, which means the larger the plate, the more we pile on to eat. Look for or ask for smaller plates at a holiday party. If only large plates are available, be extra conscious of your portion sizes. Don’t fill the entire plate.
- Lighten Up. Nothing completes a holiday meal quite like dessert. However, most holiday desserts are full of calories, fat and sugar. Try changing the old recipes to include lower fat, lower calorie ingredients, like applesauce or fat-free evaporated milk.
- Walk it Off. It is probably safe to say that most of us will enjoy too much food over the holidays. If that’s the case, just remember to keep your physical activity levels up. Offer to help the host or hostess clear and clean the plates after the meal or go for a walk outside for some fresh air.