The holidays are meant for celebrating, and most people do that with lots of high-calorie food and drink. Unfortunately many people gain weight during this time.
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine stated that people in their late thirties, and of average weight, gained one pound over the holidays. The small group study did not address people in other age and weight brackets, including men and women who gained an average of three to seven pounds over the holiday season.
Holiday Party Challenge
If you are invited to one or more holiday parties, you can eat and have fun without gaining weight. Eat a regular meal before you go, and avoid fried foods, breads, chips, cheese, and sugary treats at the party. Use a small plate, take modest servings, and opt for the least processed foods.
Sliced meats, veggie platters, simple casseroles, and raw fruit are your best choices. You can also bring your own healthy dish to the party in case everything else is loaded with calories. Stay away from mixed drinks, and enjoy a glass of red wine. Eat extra healthy the day following the party, and do not neglect regular exercise.
Holiday Meals At Home
Putting on a good holiday feast is important, especially when family and friends will be attending. If you have a long counter, set you meal up buffet style rather than placing all the dishes on the dining table. Give guest the option of taking a dinner plate or the salad plate you will be using.
You are less apt to be tempted to go for seconds when your eyes are not tempting your stomach to food you can reach without even moving. When your plate is clean, sit back and enjoy some conversation before deciding if you really want anything else to eat.
A small amount of time allows your stomach to feel full and let you know you have eaten enough. Have plenty of healthy options on your buffet including unsweetened applesauce, celery sticks with peanut or almond butter, deviled eggs, raw nuts, and avocado dip with bite-sized veggies.
Place plenty of protein-rich foods on your plate because they provide greater satiety and contribute to healthy muscle growth.
Holiday Desserts And Beverages
Avoid all sugary drinks including those with and without alcohol, and coffee and tea are always okay. If you want to toast the season, do it with a glass of red wine or some sparkling water with a fresh lemon wedge.
A five-ounce serving of red wine equals 100 calories. Desserts are a bit harder to avoid, because it's the season for pumpkin pie and everyone wants to enjoy a slice with whipped cream on top.
If you have eaten healthfully all through your meal, go ahead and reward yourself with a regular-sized slice of pumpkin pie with a small dollop of "real" whipped cream.
Follow these suggestions and you can enjoy the holidays, have a few treats, and still maintain a healthy diet and weight.