Staying Food Smart During the Holidays

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With the holidays just around the corner, so follows the holiday weight gain.  It can be very easy to be swept away when you’re surrounded by sweets and finger food, but there are some tricks you can do to prevent the holiday weight gain:

  • Don’t go to a party hungry!
    • When you’re famished, you tend to make wrong choices when it comes to food.  Your body will typically crave carbs and more sugary foods to replenish the energy that you need.
  • Out of sight, out of mind.
    • When at a party, don’t stand and talk next to the food table.  When you do this, it is very tempting to grab a handful of something to much on wile you talk, but when this happens you get distracted in the conversation and don’t realize how much you actually consumed.
  • Take a break!
    • After finishing your first plate, take about 10 minutes before you go up to get seconds.  The communication between your stomach and your brain are slow, so when you eat too fast, your stomach will fill up quickly, and your brain won’t get the message until it’s too late.  Chew on some gum or a mint to pace yourself.
  • Remember your fruits and vegetables.
    • When planning meals, continue to prepare fruits and vegetables for every meal and at parties.
  • Never shop hungry.
    • When you do this, you will tend to buy things that are not on your shopping list. It will usually be full of carbs and sugar since that is what your body needs to restore energy.
  • Don’t consume alcohol on an empty stomach.
    • Doing this will increase your appetite.
  • Get up and move!
    • This is the time of year when things get cold and most people will decrease their physical activity, but not their food intake.  Continue to move by getting a membership at a local gym or starting your own workouts at home.  Either way, maintaining your active lifestyle as it were summer is key.
  • It’s okay to indulge.
    • Having a sweet snack every now and then is okay.  Just look at your portions and stay in tune with your stomach to prevent overeating
  • Yes you can substitute.
    • The American Heart Association has made a guide on ways you can substitute ingredients without sacrificing the flavor, such as for salt or butter.  Their website has more information.

Now that you have a few tricks up your sleep, you can go to or host a party without the weight gain or the guilt of eating too much!

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Find more information on healthy holiday eating in Harvard’s blog for healthy eating! 

 

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Blogger: Christina Williams, PTA

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