Ok, so the online power shopping you did this week was more fingertip than physical so you’re burning fewer calories than battling crowds at the mall. Stressful hours spent in airports or on the highway often mean grabbing fast food on the fly or snacking in the car to keep boredom at bay. The holiday season is here and presents many challenges to eat right and stay fit. So, this may not seem like the most ideal time to start a healthier eating plan- but it can be.
Ask yourself, “Is it really any different from the rest of the year?” Every
season brings its own temptations from Super Bowl Sunday’s nachos and beer to Fourth of July’s fried chicken and ribs. The best time to learn slimming strategies is when the landscape is fat with indulgent food choices.
Every Day’s a Holiday
Research shows that the most successful dieters — those who lose weight and
keep it off for the long haul — practice healthy eating and exercise habits all
year long. They don’t make big New Year’s diet resolutions. Instead, set
a time limit or portion limit. “I’ll eat fries only once a month.” Or
“I’ll eat ice cream in a small bowl.” Or a holiday version, “I’ll enjoy a big dinner out with the relatives, but I’ll have a bowl of soup for lunch.”
|Healthy snacks are a Tasty Trio: protein, whole grains and fruit or vegetable
There’s no time like the present to begin new healthier eating habits even if you’re headed to a party tonight. Help your hips survive the holidays.
| Parties Galore and what they wore! Carolyn and her Atlanta gal pals ring in the holiday season.
1. Freshen up your food life. Keep fresh fruit and other healthy snacks such as whole-grain crackers, granola bars, nuts and fresh veggies on hand.
Sunbelt Bakery chocolate chip granola bars are only 140 calories – perfect portion size!
A handful of pecans or almonds before heading out to a party or dinner can calm your appetite so you don’t dive in the minute you arrive. Look for healthier options on restaurant menus. While a friend chowed down on the bone marrow topped with quail eggs at The Spence the other night; I was delighted with a lighter plate of ravioli stuffed with wild greens and served with a small amount of pulled pork.
2. Recognize barriers. It’s going to be tough to say no to holiday favorites
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like chocolate fudge and that creamy cheesy hot artichoke dip. Know your
splurge foods and resolve to enjoy them in small quantities. Use a small plate
to serve yourself. Research shows that your mind will think it looks like a lot
more food than the same amount on a large plate.
|Martini glasses are the perfect size for a perfect portion of yogurt topped with granola and fresh berries.
3. Enjoy the taste of eating right.Deviled eggs, steamed shrimp, roast beef and chicken on skewers often served at holiday dinner parties are all diet-friendly, lean protein choices. Feel free to add low-cal flavor with mustards, horseradish, cocktail sauce and salsas. Look for lighter versions of holiday faves such as low fat eggnog.
4. Start new habits. Keep a list of what you’re eating and drinking for a few
days. Be as specific as possible on types of foods and amounts. This snapshot will help you keep track of overeating. Write down your physical activity. Did you take the stairs instead of the escalator at the mall? That counts, too!
5. Have a plan. Eat breakfast. Schedule time to take a walk or go to yoga
class. If you’re going to a potluck, bring the salad or vegetable side dish. If it’s a three-hour car ride to Grandma’s, pack fresh fruit and a
turkey sandwich so you don’t have to stop at a fast food joint.
Save the calories to enjoy holiday treats when you get to Grandma’s. Successful
long-term weight control is a balancing act.
Keep in mind that most people gain about one pound over the holidays.
That doesn’t sound like much, but if you don’t lose it,
after 10 years that’s 10 pounds.