Holiday survival tips for healthy weight

Manage your weight during the holidays by following these holiday tips for eating.

As people begin to prepare for the holidays, many families make plans to gather over special holiday meals, creating holiday traditions. It is easy for us to add a few pounds to our weight over the holiday season, so what should we do to prevent the pounds from adding up? The following are a few holiday survival tips from Michigan State University Extension as we are faced with many holiday treats.

Eat a light low fat snack such as soup, fruit, vegetables or some cereal before you go to your party. Eating lighter snacks before the party can help to curb your appetite and prevent eating higher calorie options. Also limit your alcohol. Many calories are often consumed in beverages without us even realizing it. If you must have an alcoholic beverage, have only one and then switch to a no calorie or low calorie drink like seltzer water with lemon or a diet soda.

Bring your own low fat holiday dish to the party. Then you know that you will have a healthy option to choose from. Keep baked goods to a minimum at home. If you do bake, make only enough to give away or to use up at one event. Try eating a large salad before most meals. And when you do eat, try to make half of your plate low fat or plain vegetables and fruit. Have fruits for your dessert instead of other sweets. When you are cooking, use low fat ingredients, sugar substitutes, and low fat cheeses.

Make a goal for yourself and recruit a friend to work together to either maintain your weight or lose five pounds over the holidays. This will help to keep the calorie counting in mind. Remember, there are only a few real feast days, which are Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Day. Feast on the feast days then go right back to your healthy diet on all other days. Don’t forget to keep up on your exercise routine during the holidays. If you need to, increase your exercise to compensate for the extra calories. Celebrate what the holidays are really about – spending time with family and friends and creating holiday memories by sharing activities and goodwill.

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