December 13, 2019 How-To

Don’t Let the Holidays Derail Your Diet!

I don’t know about you, but when the holiday season rolls around, I’m like…give me all the treats! It starts with Halloween candy and goes right up until New Year’s Day, if I’m being completely honest. While I exercise regularly and even joined a new gym this year that really got me out of my comfort zone and improved my strength and endurance (I got my fitness reimbursement, too!), what you’re putting into your body also matters. A lot. And some of us are now over 35 with two kids, which doesn’t help anything (cough, ME, cough).

So, how do you navigate yourself away from the egg nog and toward choices that will satisfy your cravings but keep you in check? I asked our good friends at Zipongo® for help! You may recall I wrote about my experience with Zipongo earlier this year. It’s available with most CDPHP plans and offers you and your family advice on healthy eating that really meets you where you’re at.

Here’s what they had to say…

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Speaking of egg nog… Zipongo recommends substituting this creamy treat with some delicious hot apple cider. You’ll save big when it comes to calories, sugar, and saturated fat. Some other easy but still tasty swaps include pumpkin pie instead of pecan pie; roasted, unsalted nuts instead of candied nuts; and roasted veggies instead of green bean casserole.

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Spending time in airports this holiday season? Healthy snacks can be hard to come by. Try staying hydrated, as thirst can sometimes be mistaken for hunger, and you’ll be tempted to grab something quick and likely unhealthy. Most airports now offer refillable water stations, so you can bring your own reusable water bottle and avoid having to purchase plastic ones.

Packing your own high protein and fiber snacks can also help, and if you have to reach for an airport snack, try pre-packaged veggies and hummus or nut-based bars. If you’re taking long flights, make sure you get up and move around as much as you can. Take the stairs and don’t just sit at your gate – move around to keep your blood flowing and energy levels up.

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I’m definitely guilty of being someone who used to skip eating all day to “save up” for snacks and treats at parties. BIG MISTAKE. Eating smaller, filling meals throughout the day will keep you from going overboard at parties. When the time does come to grab a plate, aim for 75% of it to be healthier options, including crudités, guacamole, and protein.

Perhaps the best thing you can do is to practice mindful eating, and this goes for the holidays and throughout the year. If you’re going to have a treat, appreciate and enjoy it, and then relocate yourself away from the food table and find a good friend or relative to catch up with.

You can also give Zipongo a try, if you haven’t already! Simply log in to your member account and click on the CaféWell box. Choose the Zipongo program card in CaféWell to add the program to your list. You can then use the website to browse recipes or download the app and use your CaféWell username and password to log in.

Natalia Burkart
About the Author

Natalia joined CDPHP in 2015 as a communications writer/editor and currently serves as director, communications strategy. Born and raised in the Capital Region, Natalia earned a BS in marketing and management from Siena College and an MBA from Union Graduate College (now Clarkson University). A self-professed news junkie and lover of iced coffee, Natalia currently resides in North Greenbush with her husband and two kids.

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