Survive Holiday Temptations by Having a Plan
The sweet temptations of the holidays – eggnog, Christmas cookies, chocolates, candy canes and more – at festive gatherings are difficult to pass up.
Mark Davis, licensed nutritionist and registered dietitian, says you don’t have to avoid the parties – but you can avoid the wrong kinds of foods and beverages.
“The biggest mistake we can make is not having a good plan to navigate the holidays,” he says. “If you know you are going to an event where there will be high-calorie, low-nutrient foods, make sure you have eaten some healthy foods earlier that day and you are not starving. This will help you make better choices.”
Also, don’t eat unless you are hungry. “Many people will eat things just because the food is there,” Davis says. “Make wise choices, indulge in some holiday goodies but not all of them. Save your calories for the holiday foods that you enjoy the most and pass on those that you don’t.”
Enjoy the desserts you really like and make those count. Focus on smaller portions and take time to savor the taste. “Remember, it takes our stomach approximately 20 minutes to let our brain know that we are full, so slow it down and eat a little less,” says Davis. “If you have a healthy eating strategy, you will thank yourself on January 2 when the holidays are done.”
TIPS FOR HEALTHY SNACKING
Choose fresh fruits, served alone or incorporated into healthy desserts.
Opt for the fresh vegetable trays, but use salsa or hummus instead of high-fat dips.
Munch on whole grain crackers, pretzels and baked chips.
Enjoy nuts and seeds, preferably low-salt or no-salt, but limit the amount to a handful.