It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Coincidentally, it also national “eating season”. Whether you have lost a significant amount of weight leading up to the holiday months, or simply want to avoid a tighter waist band from now until the new year, there are some simple tips you can try to get you through the holiday festivities unscathed.
1. Continue to track your calorie intake. Controlled holiday goodies can fit into most calorie levels but they need to be accounted for. Think about what you really want to spend your calories on each day (drinks, snacks, desserts, main course).
- 1 cup Mashed potatoes 220 calories 8 grams fat
- ½ cup candied yams 295 calories 4 grams fat
- ½ cup dressing 170 calories 9 grams fat
- 1 cup gravy 350 calories 16 grams fat
- ¾ cup green bean casserole 80 calories 4 grams fat
- 1 dinner roll 85 calories 2 grams fat
- 1 tablespoon butter 100 calories 11 grams fat
- ½ Waldorf Salad 160 calories 12 grams fat
- ¼ cup cranberry sauce 115 calories 0 grams fat
- 4oz glass of wine 80 calories 0 grams fat
- 1 cup eggnog 380 calories 18 grams fat
- 1 slice pumpkin pie 315 calories 13 grams fat
2. Maintain your fitness level. You can burn up to 210 calories an hour while doing your holiday shopping! If time is tight, try scheduling in 3, 10 minute blocks of activity. Try decreasing the amount of time you are sedentary. Start a new family tradition and encourage the family to bundle up and take a brisk walk after Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
3. Survive the buffet and then move away! Limit yourself to one small plate and do a lap around the table before you make any impulse selections. Your best bet: shrimp cocktail, raw veggies, fruit and a handful of seasonal nuts. If something doesn’t taste good, don’t finish it. Move to another room when you are done eating. Focus on socializing rather than eating. Out of sight, out of mind.
4. Easy on the alcohol. Alcohol offers empty calories, can act as an appetite stimulant and can lead to a loss of control when food is so easily accessible. Bad news! Women should have no more than one serving a day and men should have no more than two servings each day. Your best bet: 4 oz of wine, light beer or club soda with 1.5 oz of spirits.
- Light beer (bottle) – 110 calories
- Smirnoff alcoholic “soda” (bottle) – 249 calories
- Eggnog with rum (8oz) – 350 calories
- Margarita (8oz) – 400 calories
- Wine (4oz) – 100 calories
- Regular beer (bottle) – 145 calories
5. Avoid the guilt and anxiety. Offer to bring a dish to share using lighter ingredients. Be sure to leave the party empty handed.
- Candied yams – sweeten with apple or orange juice and add ground cinnamon. Omit the butter and marshmallows
- Green bean casserole – cook fresh green beans with chunks of potatoes and fat free half and half or low fat cream soup instead of regular. Top with almonds instead of fried onions
- Mashed potatoes – use skim milk or broth instead of whole milk and butter
- Gravy – use a fat-skimmer cup or freeze the juices in a shallow pan so you can remove the fat
6. Don’t party on an empty stomach. People who skip meals are more likely to binge later on in the day. Eat as you usually would throughout the day and you will most likely be able to stay in control at your event.
For more nutrition tips and services to get you through the holiday season visit RDMealPlan.com.