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Seven Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating

The holiday season is upon us and what a wonderful time of the year it is to celebrate and enjoy our family and friends. Unfortunately, the holidays can also be a time for over eating and weight gain.  It seems that around every corner there is a cookie, pastry or some other yummy temptation.  Office parties and cocktail hours abound. How can one navigate the buffets, eggnog and Christmas goodies without gaining weight and destroying a year’s worth of good eating?  If we focus our efforts on a healthy balance of food, activity, and fun we can navigate the season with little negative impact on our health and weight.  The following are a few simple tips to aid in your efforts to reach a healthy balance of fun eating through the holiday season.

Seven Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating

  1. Set realistic expectations for yourself.  Don’t try to lose weight during the holidays, instead try to maintain your current weight.
  2. Exercise. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevents weight gain. A moderate and daily increase in your exercise routine can help partially offset increased holiday eating.
  3. Don’t skip meals. Otherwise you may be more tempted to over-indulge at the buffet table. Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack like raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to help curb your appetite.
  4. Survey the party food before piling it on your plate. Choose a sample of your favorite foods and make sure to include vegetables and fruits to keep your plate balanced.
  5.  Don’t eat until you are stuffed. Instead savor your favorite holiday treats while eating smaller portions. Also, make sure you eat slowly and drink plenty of water-this will make you feel fuller.
  6. Watch your beverage consumption. Alcohol can lower your inhibitions and contribute to overeating. Also, non-alcoholic beverages can be full of calories and sugar.
  7. Turn your attention away from food. Replace cookie making time with non-edible projects such as making wreaths or a gingerbread house. Plan activities with family and friends that aren’t food related. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, deliver a meal to a shut in or visit a local nursing home.

Let’s enjoy Christmas and the holiday season without losing sight of its true meaning. Parties and food are fun; but in reality are only a means for celebrating the greatest gift of all-our Saviors birth. Merry Christmas and God bless you all!

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