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The fall and winter holidays are some of the most festive times of the year – and the most fattening. Just thinking about traditional holiday meals can put your appetite in high gear. The temptation to overeat is lurking at every holiday table. By New Year’s Day, many of us are avoiding the scales, wearing elastic-waist pants and thinking about joining a health club to undo the damage to our waistlines. The average American gains at least five pounds during the winter holiday period. Weight gained during the six-week holiday period accounts for most of a person’s total weight gain over a year’s time.
Thankfully, there is a happy medium between starving yourself from now until New Year’s and stuffing yourself silly. You can enjoy the best the season has to offer without sacrificing your waistline. The following tips will help you master the art of sensible eating over the holidays and beyond.
Navigating the Buffet Table
The same sensible eating habits that apply throughout the year can be followed during the holidays when you’re putting the final touches on your own menus, or as you head out to grandma’s house or the office social.
Plan ahead for a healthy menu
Keep to a regular eating schedule as much as possible
Eat Before You Leave
Fill Up on Healthy Fare First
Go Low and Lean
Note: One tablespoon of gravy made from turkey drippings can contain up to 70 calories; one ladle as much as 800! The same goes for creamy dips, salad dressings and cheese sauces. Use these high-calorie items sparingly or substitute them with lower-calorie items like yogurt or cottage cheese dips, tomato salsa or vinaigrette dressings. Use lemon juice to flavor vegetables instead of cheese sauces.
Enjoy Smaller Portions
Don’t Drink Your Calories
Step Away From the Buffet
Aside: Pace your eating and spend time visiting. You’ll eat less and feel good about what you have eaten.
With millions spending long hours on the road this holiday season to reach family and friends, the family vehicle becomes a popular spot for “dashboard dining.” Follow these simple tips for healthy eating and to ensure that your travel plans aren’t ruined by food-borne illness.
Physical activity is one of the best gifts you can give yourself during the holiday season. Over the busy holidays, sneak in exercise by:
Regardless of the amount of snacks and sweets you eat during the holidays, if you try to include some exercise during your daily routine you’ll be much better off. The trick is to keep your metabolism going. Staying active will also help you keep all those extra holiday stressors in check.
SectionsArts and Leisure
Topicsdiet, healthy eating, Holidays, nutrition, Travel, Weight Gain, Weight loss
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