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Tips for managing weight through the holidays
By Jacque Schwartz, RD, LD
HEALTH MATTERS DECEMBER 2015/JANUARY 2016
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Tips for managing weight through the holidays

The holidays are right around the corner! It’s that time of year for quality family time, delicious foods and the dreaded holiday weight gain. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until the new year to set some goals to stay on track with your weight loss!

Here are a few ways to stay mindful this holiday season and prevent the tight-fitting waistline:

Start off smart

Avoid showing up at a meal hungry. Many people eat light during the day because they know they will eat large portions at the main event. Have a balance of foods throughout the day to avoid extreme hunger later on. This will help you make better decisions and not leave you feeling stuffed at the end of the night.

Plan ahead

Planning is always important with weight management. Try to set some goals for yourself and stick with them. If you have an idea of what foods are going to be around, plan for which ones are worth the extra calories and which ones you can skip.

Fill up on veggies

If you need to munch, find the vegetable tray and crunch away! Non-starchy vegetables such as cucumbers, carrots and celery are great low-calorie foods to keep you distracted from the other higher-calorie appetizers. Filling up on these foods will leave you with less room for the main course, which can help you cut some calories for the day.

Eat mindfully

Use mindful eating to enjoy food in smaller portions! If you can’t miss out on foods, limit yourself to one or two bites. Be aware of the flavors and textures, and eat slowly to get the same eating experience with a smaller amount of food.

Hydrate

Drink plenty of water to keep yourself busy and away from the food tables. This can also help you fill up before you get to the buffet line. Try to avoid calorie-containing beverages such as juice, alcohol and eggnog. These liquid calories add up quickly but are not filling. If you can’t stay away from the holiday drinks, alternate one calorie containing beverage and a glass of water.

Keep in mind that weight loss does not require perfection. Life is all about balance! One day of high calorie foods does not mean you’ve had another failed weight loss attempt. Remember to move forward, get right back on track and don’t forget to stay active to make up for the extra calories you’ve taken in. Forgive yourself and be aware of how you can learn from your experience. Weight loss is journey!

Holiday food makeover

  • Tweak the sweets
    Fruits make delicious desserts
  • Cheers to good health
    Drink water to manage calories
  • Bake healthier
    Use recipes with pureed fruits instead of butter or oil
  • Spice it up
    Use spices and herbs instead of sugar and salt
  • Brighten your meal
    Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables
  • Skim the fat
    Try skim evaporated milk instead of heavy cream
  • Swap the grains
    Choose whole wheat flour instead of white flour
  • Go easy on the gravy
    A little bit of gravy goes a long way

Learn more.

Contact your physician to learn more about healthful eating and weight loss or maintenance issues. If you need to locate a physician, visit mercydesmoines.org to find a provider in your area.

Sources: http://www.choosemyplate.gov

 

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