Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holiday Eating

Here is the lastest email I received from Dr. Jacobs.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, some of us are ready to make new goals NOT to eat so much. If that is you, here is a great article on holiday eating as we go into the Christmas season:

Holiday Eating

Ready or not—the holidays are here. The malls are decorated and the buzz of the season has started. It’s that time that we get to enjoy our friends and family, but often holiday feasting means extra pounds on the scale. The holidays give new meaning to the saying, “eat, drink, and be merry”. Instead of worrying about gaining or losing weight this year, focus on maintaining your weight—be steady on the scales.

Here are some tips to prepare you for your holiday adventures:
• Start the day with a well balanced breakfast. It is not best to “save up” calories for a celebration later by not eating until late in the day when you are hungry and high fat options are awaiting you.

• Make a plan to eat a good variety of healthy foods. If you are going to a party where you can bring a dish, prepare a low fat option of a traditional dish or bring fresh fruit or veggies. Many recipes can be modified to be lower in calories and fat.

• Select a smaller plate. You may need a little assistance with portion control and this trick really helps to build awareness. We know the larger the plate, the more food you will eat.

• Do not deprive yourself. “It is not DEPRIVATION but LIBERATION through MODERATION”. Pick out your favorites and have a small portion, instead of a whole piece or larger portion.

• Eating slowly will help you know when you are full and satisfied. Try sipping a calorie-free beverage between bites. Use more of your time in conversation instead of over eating. Remember that it takes 20 minutes for your brain to get the signal you are getting full.

• Stay away from seconds. Before you head back to the serving line, ask yourself if your stomach is hungry or is it just your head.

• Keep your exercise routine at all costs. Without physical activity, you burn fewer calories and it is very easy to take in more calories than we need. Don’t wait until the New Year to start your fitness program.

• Watch your beverages. Avoid alcohol, sodas, and concentrated juices. These add calories without a lot of nutrition. If you are going to have a caloric beverage, alternate with a non-caloric beverage. Water will quench your thirst, cleanse our palate, and aid in digestion.

• Remove the temptations. Pack the leftovers for others to take with them so you can get back to your regular eating habits.
Food and celebrations will always be a major part of the holiday season and there is nothing wrong with that. Remember to eat in moderation and maintain a good variety of foods. Happy Holidays!

By Colleen Loveland, M.S., R.D., L.D., C.D.E., Cooper Clinic Nutrition.

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