Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Stay Healthy During The Holidays

We are not going to lie.  It has been getting tough to maintain our healthy eating with the holidays quickly approaching.  We have definitely munched down one too many cookies and ice cream bars at recent holiday parties this month.  We decided to put out the word on how not to gain as much weight this year as years past.   Weight gain during the holiday season seems inevitable with food seemingly always present.  It’s easy to pack on as many as 5 to 10 pounds during the season alone.

“With all the excitement over the holidays, we tend to throw away our nutritional good sense, and eat excessively … with exercise taking a low priority,” says Sandra Nissenberg, a registered dietitian. Then, when the New Year rolls around, we wonder how those extra pounds crept on.
Instead of worrying about calories after the fact, start planning in advance for a healthier holiday season. Many holiday menus can be modified to lower the calories and fat content, often without noticing the difference, according to the American Dietetic Association.
Nissenberg recommends using these strategies to keep your meals and your body lighter:
  • Select a plain turkey rather than a self-basting one and remove the skin before serving. (it’s fattening.)
  • Refrigerate gravy or pan juices from the turkey. The fat will rise to the top, which allows you to remove it easily and reduce fat content.
  • Make stuffing with lots of vegetables and fruits (celery, onions, cranberries, raisins, apples) and less breadcrumbs.
  • Bake sweet potatoes instead of serving them candied.
  • Mash potatoes with chicken broth or skim milk instead of whole milk and butter.
  • Serve fruit platters in place of high-calorie, high-fat desserts.
  • Eat lighter during the day, but don’t starve yourself.
  • Enjoy the company of others instead of staying close to the food table.
  • When you eat, choose foods in moderate portions.
  • Be open to healthier recipes, particularly those with less fat and cholesterol.
  • Take up outdoor activities to burn off extra calories. 
  • Use free time to clean your house and decorate for the holidays; the goal is to keep moving.
  • Walk the malls for half an hour before they open. You’ll keep fit and still get your holiday shopping done.
Enjoy the holidays and dont regret your special meals!

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