Indulge with purpose approach – diet tips for enjoying your favorite holiday food

You can still enjoy your favorite holiday food and maintain a healthy weight.

By following healthy diet tips and eating strategies that can control impulses to over eat during the holiday, we can enjoy the season and have fun with family and friends. Nutritional experts say the average American gains one to two pounds during the holidays which over time (years) can contribute additional weight gain and obesity. Michigan State University Extension suggests following healthy diet tips this holiday season so you can still enjoy your favorite food.

Nutrition experts recommend avoiding overeating during the holidays by the “indulge with purpose” approach.

  1. Focus on remembering that the holidays are more than eating. Keep in mind to take in the total holiday season; sights, sounds, decorations, visiting and conversations with family and friends.
  2. Indulge with purpose; acknowledge that it is unrealistic not to eat your favorite holiday treats.
  3. Don’t show up at the holiday party starving because you are trying to “save” your calories by not eating or skipping meals (eat regular meals during the day).These tactics will cause you to overeat and consume several calories. Have a small snack before going to a party; eat snacks like yogurt with low-fat granola or low-fat cheese and fruit.
  4. Before making your plate use the following strategies:
  • Use smaller plates and fill your plate first with vegetables and salads before the main meal; eat slowly before eating your entree and dessert.
  • Survey the holiday food table and then decide what to eat.
  • Choose two to three of your favorite foods that you really want, followed by selecting healthier food like fruit, veggies, salads and lean meats.
  • Wait 10 minutes before going for “seconds,” this will help you determine if you really are still hungry.
  • Get some physical activity after dinner, such as going for a walk, working out, etc.
  • Practice “good graces,” say “no thank you” (If you’re a guest at someone’s home and the host offers you seconds practice saying “no”). You do not have to accept food just because someone offers it to you).
  • Alcoholic drinks are loaded with calories and can increase your chances of eating seconds, overeating, etc. When it comes to drinking alcohol, start with a calorie-free, nonalcoholic beverage. Satisfy your thirst before having an alcoholic drink. Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks for men.
  • Lower your stress level by having realistic expectations. Don’t add more work which can cause stress during the holidays and result in overeating. Protect your downtime; don’t accept every party invitation, instead add down time during the holiday season (time for pampering and exercise).
  • Instead of throwing out all of your healthy eating habits during the holiday season, commit to sticking to eating healthy.

By using the “indulge with purpose” approach you can follow these healthy diet tips which can help you make healthy food choices, curve impulses to overeat while still enjoying all of the holiday festivities this season.

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