The weeks following Thanksgiving present major health hazards at every corner. There are endless goodies being passed around the office, holiday parties to battle with and not to mention SAD syndrome making us want to overeat. New York Registered Dietitian, Krishna Dholakia, gives us her top tips to master for making smarter decisions during the holidays
1. Be a picky guest: attend events where you know you are not going to feel pressured to eat and drink a lot.
2. Have a light snack before you show up for a holiday party in order to curb your appetite. It is easy to make a bad choice or not think about making a healthy choice when you are hungry. Small, frequent meals or snacks during the day are not only helpful for boosting your metabolism, but they are also helpful in keeping your hunger levels even. Good options include: carrots, celery, and apple or a small handful of almonds.
3. Starting with a healthy salad or a light, vegetable-based soup is smart. Easy on the salad dressing, high calorie toppings and cream-based soups!
4. If the party is potluck, prepare something healthy for the party that you know you will eat.
5. Slow down when you are eating. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to signal to your brain that you are full.
6. Keep healthy snacks and lunches at work to avoid the holiday candy and baked treats. Don’t feel obligated to try every cookie and candy that’s passed around work.
7. Follow the portion plate principal. Half of your plate should come from vegetables, one-quarter from whole grains or starchy veggies like potato and corn, and the other quarter from a lean protein source (or a vegetarian protein source). Easy on the salt!
8. You already know this, but baked, poached, grilled, and steamed are much better options to pick than something that is fried.
9. Stick to calorie-free beverages or water. Drinking alcohol can be an easy way to rack up on the calories. Try setting a limit for yourself before going to the party. You can make your drinks last longer by adding spritzers or calorie-free sodas.
10. Be sure to keep up with your exercise plan during the holiday season. If you are concerned about the weather, you can purchase exercise DVDs that you can work out to indoors. Just keep moving!
11. Lastly, celebrating holidays can be an easy excuse to throw your healthy diet out of the window and overeat. Stay strong and persevere, the results are worth it! Have a plan for the holiday season and be prepared to stay on track.