Consider the tips below to help you and your family eat healthier this holiday season.
•Plan ahead. If you will be attending a dinner party in the evening, limit calories and fat at breakfast and lunch. Have a light snack of fruit or yogurt in the afternoon so you do not arrive famished and give in to the temptation of eating the higher fat and calorie foods.
•Practice portion control. Don’t deprive yourself of enjoying a beverage, a tasty dip, or enticing dessert, but always watch your portions – go for small amounts of a variety of foods. Moderation is key!
•Don’t be a couch potato. Instead, be physically active every day. Aerobic activities, such as walking, biking and jogging can be great stress relievers and burn up calories from holiday eating at the same time.
•Be a conscientious hostess. As you plan your menus, keep the dietary guidelines in mind. Modify recipes when possible. You might want to use applesauce in place of oil in breads and cakes, egg whites or egg substitutes in place of whole eggs, or evaporated milk in place of half and half or cream. Experiment with reduced fat and reduced calorie recipes and then share them with family and friends.
•Make wise beverage selections. Alcohol is high in calories. If you choose to drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation and select light wines and beer or mixed drinks made with water or diet soda. Remember too, drinking alcohol may also weaken your willpower to resist tempting foods.
•Monitor your party behavior. Rather than gathering around a table of food, snacks or drinks to visit, take a small plate of food and drink and visit with others in another area of the room. Eat slowly and enjoy each bite. If you are feeling full, don’t continue to eat just because it’s the social thing to do. Have a mint or piece of gum and move away from the food.
•Keep everything in perspective at all times and remember overeating one day won’t wreck your eating plan. If you go overboard one day, you can balance it out the next day by making healthier choices.