This article was too good not to share. I hope you all enjoy it as much
as I did. Happy Holidays!!!!
Holidays bring family and friends together to celebrate traditions and
spread good cheer. They also bring lots of opportunities for socializing,
eating, and drinking. Even the most disciplined people struggle with temptation
during the holiday season.
To navigate the party landmines with your healthy
diet intact, you need a strategy. Experts agree: Having a plan in place will
help you handle night after night of eating and drinking.
"Think of your appetite as an expense account, and figure out how
much you want to spend on drinks, appetizers, entrees, and dessert,"
advises Michelle May, MD, author of
Am I Hungry? What to Do When Diets Don't Work. She suggests giving yourself permission to enjoy your favorite foods
-- in sensible portions.
To help you survive the seasonal parties without packing on the pounds,
WebMD consulted diet gurus across the country for their best holiday diet
tips. Here are their top 10 recommendations:
1. Trim back the trimmings. Go all out and deck the halls with boughs of holly, glitter, and lights,
but when it comes to holiday food, accessorize with care. To shave calories,
go easy when adding nuts, cheese, cream sauces, gravy, butter, and whipped
cream -- additions that don't add much to the meal, but can add plenty
to your waistline. Trim calories wherever you can so you leave the party
feeling satisfied, but not stuffed, recommends Carolyn O'Neil, MS,
RD, author of
The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous.
2. Wear snug clothes and keep one hand busy. When you wear snug-fitting attire, chances are you'll be too busy
holding in your stomach to overeat. While you stand around looking posh
in your holiday finery, hold a drink in your dominant hand so it won't
be so easy to grab food, recommends
obesity expert Cathy Nonas, MS, RD.
3. Chew gum. When you don't want to eat, pop a piece of sugarless gum into your
mouth. This works well when you're cooking or when you're trying
not to dive into the buffet, says Nonas.
4. Be a food snob. If you don't love it, don't eat it, says American Dietetic Association
spokeswoman Melinda Johnson, MS, RD. Scan the buffet for foods you truly
treasure and skip the everyday dishes that are available all year long.
And don't think it's your responsibility to sample everything
on the buffet. Go ahead and indulge in your personal holiday favorites,
then find a seat and, slowly and mindfully, savor every mouthful.
5. No skipping meals. Always eat normally on the day of a party. "People who skip meals
to save up calories tend to overeat everything in sight once they get
there," says Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD, author of
Diet Simple. "Eating sensibly throughout the day will take the edge off the appetite
and empower a bit of restraint." Start with a nourishing breakfast,
have a light lunch, then a small snack or salad shortly before the event.
6. Check it out. First things first. When you arrive at the party, grab a sparkling water
with a twist, and wait at least 30 minutes before eating. This will give
you time to relax, get comfortable in your surroundings, and survey your
food choices on the buffet before diving in, says Tallmadge. A buffet
is an invitation to eat all you can, and unless you carefully scrutinize
it and make wise choices, you're likely to overeat.
7. Add fun and games. Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, co-author of
Your Diet Is Driving Me Crazy, proposes taking the focus off food and getting family and friends more
active during holiday parties. Think horseshoes, badminton, sledding,
ice skating, or building snowmen. Indoors, try a spirited game of charades,
or rent an instructional dance video followed by a dance-off. "The
best parties include dancing, so why not make dancing after eating a new
holiday tradition for a great form of fun and recreation?" asks David
Katz, MD, MPH, author of
Flavor Point Diet.
8. Alternate alcohol with nonalcoholic beverages. Alcoholic drinks are loaded with calories -- especially holiday favorites
like eggnog. "Cut your alcohol calories in half by alternating water
or seltzer between alcoholic beverages," Katz advises.
9. Skip the appetizers. "Eschew the appetizers rather than chewing on them," says Katz.
If you need a little nibble before the meal, go for the veggies, fruit,
salsa, or a small handful of nuts.
10. Limit the variety. Brian Wansink, PhD, author of
Mindless Eating, suggests putting only two items on your plate when you go to the food
table. Return as many times as you like, but only take two items each
time. "Variety stimulates appetite, and if you limit your choices
to just a few items and stick with these, it will be easier to control
than eating a little bit of 20 different dishes," agrees Katz.