Healthy Holiday Tips

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December 15, 2016 by Nicolle Miller, RD, LD and Sara Pollard, MS, RD, LD

Ho, Ho, Ho. Merry Christmas! It is that time of year that we all enjoy and love; sitting around the fireplace drinking hot chocolate, going to countless holiday parties, and gathering with family to enjoy delicious holiday meals.  With all of this fun and abundance of great food, many of us find ourselves gaining a few unwanted pounds during the holiday season. What if I told you that it is entirely possible to still enjoy all the festivities without adding the inches?

Let’s start with the basics, reducing the volume of food we eat.  Holiday gatherings tend to have what seem to be an endless supply of mouthwatering dishes that are typically calorically dense.  Many of us tend to eat not one but two or three servings of these foods. Unfortunately, this is a good way to add on a couple of pounds.  One useful tool to help with reducing the overall volume consumed is using a smaller plate.  The smaller plate will naturally result in smaller portion sizes.  Also, fill your plate with vegetables or salads first leaving less room for the more calorically dense foods that result in weight gain. Be mindful when you eat, chew slowly and savor the flavor. Wait 10 minutes before going for seconds to give your body time to feel full.

It is always better to give than to receive. This holiday season give your family, friends, and coworkers holiday treats that helps to keep them from receiving any extra holiday weight! Try these substitutions to cut back on calories, sugar, and fat when making your favorite holiday dishes:

Instead of butter, substitute equal parts unsweetened applesauce—great for muffins and breads. Substitute low-fat or skim milk instead of whole or heavy cream when making holiday drinks like hot chocolate and egg nog.  Use vegetable or olive oil instead of butter when sautéing vegetables. Substitute whole grain breads, rice, and pasta instead of white breads, rice, and pasta. And as always keep everything in moderation!
Happy Holidays,
Nicolle Miller, RD, LD and Sara Pollard, MS, RD, LD

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