Turkey. Stuffing. Pies. Candy canes. Egg nog. The holiday season is a time notorious for sweet treats and expanding waistlines. People spend time with their friends and families at parties and special gatherings, which unfortunately are planned around lots of high-calorie meals and desserts. According to the National Institutes of Health, overeating during the holidays can lead to an extra one or two pounds every year – this can add up and stick with you each year.
I wanted to share with you some nutrition and diet tips to help you enjoy the holiday season without having to deprive yourself or miss out on any seasonal treats.
- The holidays aren’t a time to start a diet. Rather, try to focus on maintaining your weight during this season, so come the new year you’re still fitting into all your clothes.
- Try to stay as active as possible. If you have a regular exercise routine, stick to it as best you can. Exercising can help combat all those extra calories you’re taking in, plus help relieve any added stress from the hectic season. Hardcore exercise isn’t needed. A couple of 10 to 15 minute walks a day can do your body good.
- Stop eating when you feel satisfied. There’s no need to stuff yourself. You can eat more tomorrow!
- Don’t skip meals just because you’re attending a party or holiday dinner later in the day. When you starve the body, you’re more likely to overeat once you finally get your hands on some food due to how hungry you are. If you eat small healthy meals before an event, you’ll be able to make wiser food portion sizes later on.
- Choose to eat the holiday foods you don’t get to eat throughout the year, and balance them out with fruits and vegetables on your plate. By choosing the special or favorite food of yours, it means you’re not grabbing everything available.
- Watch your alcohol intake. Calories can quickly add up. Plus, many fancy holiday drinks come with lots of sugar.
- Bring your own healthier dish to parties and gatherings.
- The holidays aren’t just about food. Plan activities that don’t revolve around food, but focus on spending time with loved ones, decorating, caroling, singing carols, etc.
- It’s OK to say no to food, or second helpings. In general, it’s a good idea not to go back for seconds if you don’t want to overeat.
- If you’re looking to keep your caloric intake in check, I suggest avoiding creamy sauces, dressings, and dips.
When it comes to the holiday season, by all means, enjoy yourself; pick and choose your battles when it comes to your diet choices. A good rule of thumb is “everything in moderation.” By abiding by some of the listed tips, you will feel less bloated and more energized throughout the season.
If you’re having a hard time managing your diet, especially through the holiday season, it may be time for you to talk to a doctor or a nutritionist. Dr. Kordonowy of Internal Medicine, Lipid & Wellness of Fort Myers offers dietary counseling. To book an appointment with Dr. Kordonowy, click here or call 239-362-3005, ext. 200.
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