By Tonja Werkman MS, RD
The holidays are right around the corner and like you, we at Pinnacle Dining Services have a lot of fun up and coming events planned such as cooking demos, catering events and parties. To help us all prepare for the festivities, here are some tips to stay healthy while still enjoying the food and fun times with friends and family.
Apple Pie, Pumpkin pie, Egg Nog, Chocolate chip cookies, and holiday cocktails, these food items remind us of the holidays and good times. These same foods can also wreak havoc on our waistline from Thanksgiving to News Years Day. Here are some healthy tips to help keep your weight in control and still enjoy the holiday season.
• Get Active – Eat less and exercise. Making time for exercise especially during the holidays is extremely important. Stress is usually high during the holidays and exercise can help relieve stress and create a calorie deficit. Take a couple extra laps around the mall or shopping area while you are doing your holiday shopping. This is a great way to get extra steps in throughout the day.
• Eat Breakfast – Starting your day with a small but satisfying breakfast can give you more control over your appetite. Some examples of a good breakfast are: an egg with a slice of whole wheat bread or whole grain cereal with low fat milk.
• Eat a Nutritious Snack or Meal Before a Holiday Party – eating a meal or snack with protein and fiber can help take the edge off your appetite and allow you to be more discriminating in your food and beverage choices at holiday gatherings.
• Lighten Up – Whether you are hosting a holiday dinner or bringing a dish to share make your recipes healthier with less fat, sugar and calories. Some examples of how to make recipes healthier are: fat free chicken broth to make gravy, sugar substitutes in place of sugar, fruit purees in place of oil in baked goods, plain yogurt or fat free sour cream for dips, mashed potatoes
• Portion Control – Select reasonable size portions of foods when you are filling your plate at holiday meals. Don’t waste calories on foods you can have all year long. Fill your plate with foods that are holiday traditions and foods that only come around once a year.
• Be Realistic – The holidays are a time to be with family and friends. Shift your focus from weight loss to weight maintenance during the holiday season and enjoy the quality time together.
-Tonja Werkman MS, RD