Your Guide to Healthy Holiday Eating

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healthy holiday eating

You’ve worked hard all year to stay fit and eat right. For a lot of people, though, the holidays can sabotage their efforts. After all, half the fun is enjoying your favorite food and drinks. Cookies and eggnog, anyone?

Just remind yourself that the holidays aren’t a license to overindulge. Repeating the mantra “all things in moderation” might help as you make your first trip to the buffet table. You can also use these tips to stay on the healthy eating track.

An evening out

  • Have a snack before you leave. Something small like a piece of fruit or some yogurt helps control your cravings. Also, drink a full glass of water. Sometimes thirst can disguise as hunger.
  • Make a plate consisting of mostly fruit and vegetables and just a small sampling of your favorites. This way you can enjoy the foods you look forward to without overdoing it.
  • Avoid or reduce your alcohol intake. Choose water or a non-alcoholic, low-calorie substitute for your favorite mixer. Each serving of alcohol has 150 to 450 calories. Low-fat and fat-free eggnog are also easy to find.

Hosting an event

  • Cut out the fried foods. Instead, offer your guests fresh nuts, low-fat cheeses, fresh fruit and vegetables, or chilled shrimp.
  • Take the fat out of your gravy with a low-sodium chicken broth recipe, and serve skinless low-fat white meat instead of dark.
  • Instead of regular mashed potatoes, try vitamin-rich sweet potatoes.
  • For dessert, offer pumpkin pie without the crust. It’s low in fat and full of beta-carotene. (One slice of pecan pie has up to 800 calories!)

Be realistic

  • Don’t plan a New Year’s diet. It may entice you to eat more. Focus on maintaining your weight instead.
  • Binge eating will result in more weight gain. Choose small portions that satisfy to avoid packing on pounds.

Stick to your exercise routine

  • Don’t worry if you can’t fit a full workout into your day. Even 10-minute increments throughout the day will keep your heart pumping, help regulate your appetite, and burn calories.
  • Take a free wellness class! CDPHP® members have access to a variety of classes that cover a range of topics, including fitness and nutrition.
  • Find a workout buddy. The cold weather and shorter days can make staying motivated extra difficult. But if you have a friend who’s counting on you to show up, you’ll be less likely to skip your workout.
  • Keep moving! Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away, take short breaks throughout the day to go for a walk – the possibilities are endless!
  • There’s an app for that. From zombie runs to CDPHP® InMotionSM, you have plenty of options for staying active by way of your smartphone and/or tablet.

For additional resources on eating right and maintaining your weight, as well as tips, tools, healthy recipes, relevant articles, and so much more, check out our weight management tools.

Need some extra support? CDPHP members can take advantage of our Health Coach ConnectionSM program, which puts you in touch with a registered dietitian who can provide the guidance you need to meet and keep your goals. Call toll free 1-800-365-4180 anytime, day or night.

 

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