It’s a holiday all about being thankful…and of course all about the food! Ah! But don’t worry- holidays are all about moderation. Follow these tips and you’ll be extra thankful that you avoided holiday weight gain this year!
Don’t starve!: I can’t tell you how many times my clients have said to me “I’m going to a big holiday party, so I’m just not going to eat all day to save calories for it.” This is the WORST thing you can possibly do! Why? You will end up excessively hungry and overeating the high fat/high calorie foods at the party- eating way more than you would have in the first place.
Instead, eat filling meals and snacks leading up to the event, but choose high volume, low calorie foods. My favorite choices- egg whites in the morning- ½ the calories of shell eggs and plenty of protein to keep you full for hours. Or, another quick option, Greek yogurt- it has twice the protein of regular yogurt to keep you twice as full for the same amount of calories. For snacks, try low calorie, high fiber options such as air popped or low fat microwave popcorn. Of course, fresh veggies and fruit always make terrific snack options as well.
Watch how you eat at the party: Now that you are not excessively hungry going to the party, you will be able to make healthier choices. First, offer to bring a healthy, low calorie option such as a veggie platter or salad so you know a healthy choice will be available. Then, I like to use a rating system when filling your plate. Instead of just placing everything on your plate while it is passed, look at all the options first and say to yourself, what are my true favorites? Rank each food on a scale on 1-10 (10 being the best) and place only the 9s and 10s on your plate. Also, my favorite tip: Don’t sit directly next to your favorite dish! It is just way too easy to take 2nds and 3rds if it is right there. Instead, sit next to a healthier dish like the turkey or salad.
Get moving! You want to burn off that turkey, so plan to get a brisk walk or workout in before going to the holiday party. If that isn’t possible, see if your family would be up for a nice walk together after the meal. It’s a great way to talk and catch up with relatives while keeping everyone healthy!
Alcohol: This is one of the major reasons for holiday weight gain, since it is mostly empty calories. Did you know that alcohol can also make you hungrier? For this reason, try to have a drink at the end of the meal vs before the meal to help control your portions. Aim for lower calorie drink options, for instance a wine spritzer made with club soda (2oz club soda, 2oz wine) is 40 calories vs. 85 calories per 4oz of wine. Regular beer contains 150 calories, but choose ultra light beers, such as Bud Select 55, and it’s only 55 calories per beer! Alcoholic beverages such as egg nog (400 calories per 8 oz!) and margaritas (300+ calories per 4 oz!) can have as many calories as your meal. Instead, choose low calorie options available in most stores, or for egg nog, make your own with egg whites and skim milk instead of whole eggs and heavy cream.
What are your favorite tips for having a healthy Thanksgiving?
Wishing you and your families a healthy and happy Thanksgiving!!!
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