Supercharge Your Fitness
November 2019 - Holiday Meals
The holiday season is upon us!
Contrary to belief, people don’t put on five to ten pounds—research shows it’s only about one.
The problem: weight doesn’t come off once the holidays are over, but one day will not make or break your eating program. However, having several days of celebration in a row will.
So how can we avoid putting on weight over the holidays while having a great time? It’s about moderation, not deprivation.
Check out these tips to help you enjoy the holidays:
- Focus on the people, not the food—savor your family and friends.
- Don’t starve yourself all day to “save” calories—that’ll a guarantee overeating. Eat moderately through the day and have a small snack ahead of time to curb your appetite, preferably with protein (fruit and low fat cheese or cottage cheese, light non-fat yogurt, or a modest handful of nuts).
- Scan the food choices and decide what you want before filling your plate. Fill your plate once and avoid grazing throughout the day. Stay as far away from the buffet table as possible!
- For appetizers, go for the vegetable tray or boiled shrimp—limit the cheese, crackers, chips, and heavy dips. Make an effort to limit high-fat items: fried food, creamy casserole dishes, pies, and processed meats like salami and sausage.
- Remember, portion size matters:
- Go stingy on the starches—potatoes, rice, pasta, and rolls (1/4 of plate)
- Be modest with meat portions (1/4 of plate)
- Choose volumes of vegetables (1/2 of plate)
- Limit yourself to one small piece of dessert—or skip it altogether if you have several parties to attend.
- Alternate non-calorie with calorie beverages. Calories add up very quickly with alcohol, especially liqueurs, eggnog, and sweet mixed drinks. Choose light beer, wine, and use non-alcoholic mixers such as water, club soda, or diet drinks. Enjoy calorie-free drinks such as iced tea, diet sodas, sparkling water, or club soda.
- If you’re the host: Avoid making excessive amounts of food. Send everyone home with a “doggy bag” so you have no leftovers; offer healthy options.
- Don’t forget to exercise. Physical activity not only burns calories, but is also a great stress reliever.
- Don’t focus on losing weight—focus on maintaining—which is a big enough challenge during the holiday season. Don’t set yourself up for failure!
Is that big holiday meal the only time you’ll indulge? If so, go ahead and splurge the Traditional Meal.
Or if you have several parties to attend, be more conservative and choose the Modified Meal.
If however, you’re the social butterfly with a full calendar of parties, events, celebrations, and holiday dinner, it’s best to be most conservative with the calories and choose the Ideal Meal.
Boost your fitness plan with a Nutrition Consultation with Cindy Kleckner, RDN, LD, FAND, a registered dietitian nutritionist and culinary expert at the Apex Centre, City of McKinney’s Aquatic and Fitness Facility. Email Cindy or call at 214-293-5306.