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Strategies for Maintaining Healthy Habits During and After the Holiday Season

posted Jan 6, 2020, 1:26 PM by Evangelina DiSpirito, RDN, E-RYT   [ updated Jan 10, 2020, 10:52 AM ]

















By: Evangelina DiSpirito, RDN, E-RYT


The holiday season can cause many to abandon their healthy lifestyle routines due to excess jolly times, stress or sadness.  Here are five simple steps to help you maintain healthy habits all year long no matter the emotions you are experiencing.

1.     Healthier substitutions: Create a healthier display of foods by substituting healthier ingredients in your favorite recipes or by bringing in healthier holiday treats to work.

v Hummus dips, and instead

of pita chips, try veggie sticks such as jicama (which contains inulin and can lower blood sugar), sugar snap peas, tri-color sliced bell peppers and carrots.

v Pumpkin mousse parfait or use pumpkin mousse recipe as a dip and serve with sliced apples, jicama, and ginger 

                 snaps. Click Pumpkin Mousse Parfait for pumpkin mousse recipe.

vGreek yogurt Spinach dip with whole grain pita chips and vegetable sticks.

vVegetable-based dishes, for example, instead of green bean casserole.  Try steaming fresh green beans then sautéing yellow onions, mushrooms with olive oil. Toss sautéed mushroom and onion mixture over steamed green beans.

vFor work gatherings, instead of the candy and cookie basket, try a fruit basket with interspersed dark chocolates.

 

2.    Don’t skip meals before a party.   Have a light snack that contains a healthy carbohydrate and protein, along with an 8-ounce glass of water. This pre-party snack practice will help stave off hunger so you can scan the buffet table objectively.

v Sliced apples sprinkled with cinnamon paired, with one tablespoon of peanut butter or half of cup of Greek yogurt.   

v Low-fat cottage cheese (4oz) with pears. 

3.     Don’t drink your calories.  Stay hydrated with water or unsweetened beverages to avoid drinking your calories:  Whether you are drinking alcohol or holiday punch, these drinks can pack on the calories.  Cut calories in half by trying these tips:

v Alternate drinking 8 ounces of water for every calorie-laden drink (wine, beer, eggnog, punch, sodas) consumed.  

v Always have sparkling water or water in your hand to avoid being offered high-calorie drinks.

v Dilute the drinks (wine or punch) with half sparkling water for a festive spritzer drink.

v Opt for smaller-size cups to drink wine, punch or sodas. 

4.       Portion control with serving size control.   "Half it and have it."  Serve yourself smaller portion sizes for snacks and meals.  

v Allow yourself  no more than two (1/2 cup) starches, such as mashed potatoes, stuffing, macaroni on your plate..

v For appetizers, opt for more fruits and vegetable appetizers paired with low-fat, high-fiber, high-protein foods such as bean dips or Greek yogurt dips.  

5.       Stay active.  Whether you are vacationing or will be on a staycation for the holidays, be sure to continue to have an exercise routine.   Staying active will help you stay motivated and help keep you healthy.

v Start the day off by hitting the gym for a spin class, yoga class or jog outside.  

v Walk after holiday meals.

        v Help clean kitchen.

Remember, not every approach works for everyone, so find what works for you.  Most importantly, enjoy the essence of the season by being at peace with yourself so you can be at ease with your food choices. 

By making healthy eating and exercise habits a way of life and you will be successful in maintaining your weight over the holidays and all year-long without stress..


 

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