By Nutritionist Blogger Jeni Tackett, RD, LD
Now that the holidays are in full swing, let’s revisit some basic guidelines for maintaining good health. If you commit to them – to staying active and being thoughtful about what and how you eat – you’ll do great!
Here are my top 5 tips for a healthy holiday season:
• Do not skip meals. If you know you are going to have a big feast in the afternoon, you still need to eat breakfast! Focus on healthy choices such as fruits, whole grains, and lean protein sources. Having a whole wheat English muffin, egg whites, and an orange for breakfast will fuel you and reduce the temptation to overeat at your holiday event.
• Do not drink your calories. The holiday season includes many high calorie beverages such as pumpkin spice lattes, eggnog, and alcohol. Be very careful about the calories you take in. Stick with calorie-free beverages such as water, seltzer water, coffee, and tea as much as you can. If you do indulge in a calorie-laden beverage, limit how much you drink.
• Do focus on activity. With the colder weather activity often drops off during the holiday season. Think of ways you and your family can be more active this year. Bundle up and go for a walk. Go to the YMCA to play basketball or racquetball. Think of holiday eating as a balancing act: Move more if you eat more!
• Do bring a healthy choice. Be a good influence on your family and friends by bringing a veggie tray, fruit salad, or hummus and veggies to a holiday gathering. Then fill half your plate with fruits and veggies to fill your stomach up with fiber and fuel your body with good nutrition.
• Do sit down. Do not stand and graze at holiday meals and parties. Make a rule that you must eat off of a plate or from a bowl. Dish out moderate portions (especially of those high-calorie indulgences like sweets and dips) and sit down and eat slowly. When you eat mindfully you can avoid the stuffed feeling that often comes after holiday meals.
Eating healthy during the holidays is a matter of balance. You can still enjoy yourself, but you need to make a commitment right now to stay active and balance your eating during the holidays. When you have a plan and a positive attitude, you can do anything you set your mind to!
|Meet Jeni Tackett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Nutrition Blogger. Jeni is a registered and licensed dietitian for Unity Point-Trinity and Two Rivers YMCA. Jeni counsels her clients on weight loss and nutrition. You can read Jeni’s bio and other blog posts by clicking here.|