HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDELINES
- DON’T DRINK YOUR CALORIES, EAT THEM----Avoid the cocktail hour. Substitute those high-calorie drinks for low-calorie beverages, try low-fat eggnog instead of regular eggnog, lite beer instead of those popular microbrews, and wine spritzers, instead of wine.
- SAVOR THE GOOD STUFF---Why waste your calories on cheese and crackers, stuff you can eat any ol’ day. Save your calories for holiday favorites—sweet potato pie, homemade apple pie, potato pancakes, or cheesecake.
- PASS (OVER) THE HORS D’OEUVRES ---When you show up early to the holiday office party, you’re bound to eat all the hors d’oeuvres. Hors d’oeuvres = calories. Instead, try to eat some organic local veggies and dip, or cup of soup before you go to the party so you won’t arrive hungry. You can easily eat 1000 calories of just cheese and crackers!!
- PLAN YOUR MEAL CAREFULLY—Try to checkout all the items on the buffet table and choose carefully. Pick the healthiest choices, such as shrimp cocktail, chicken ka-bobs, whole wheat crackers, and load up on veggies---they’ll fill you up the most.
- THE MORNING AFTER---Don’t feel like you have to eat all the leftovers yourself. Invite friends over to share. Bring it over to the neighbor’s house, or donate the leftovers to the local food pantry.
- DON’T FAST BEFORE THE BIG PARTY - Fasting is the worst thing for your body. Your blood sugars drop and you’ll eat anything and everything at the party. Fasting means you will “binge” when you finally do eat. Eat half a turkey sandwich or munch on half a bagel—which will tie you over until you get to the party.
- BURN IT OFF!! – Okay, so you ate too much. Does that mean you blew it? No, just increase your exercise and you won’t gain one single pound. Chop and stack wood, take an aerobics class, go for that power walk, or play touch football before dinner.
- MAKE HEALTHY SUBSTITUTIONS—Did you know it takes about 15 minutes of power walking to burn off 4 pieces of lean turkey (without the skin), but it takes 45 minutes if you have turkey with the skin? Make lean choices whenever possible.
- DRINK MORE FLUIDS--- Drink lots of water, you may be dehydrated. This will help you feel full, eat less, and keep your body energized and well hydrated.
- BE REALISTIC---After all, it is the holiday season. Keep up your workouts, even if you can’t get to the gym. Try to eat low-fat meals so you can splurge later at the party. Most of all, enjoy yourself. It’s only once a year, but it doesn’t mean you have to gain ten pounds. It just takes a little planning and some holiday survival tips.
Article by Joanne Keaveney, Registered Dietician