The holidays can be filled with fun, family, friends- and inevitably- food. November through January can be a stressful time for those who are trying to stick to healthy eating and calendars seem to be packed with pot lucks, parties, and family gatherings. Here are a few tips on how to enjoy these functions without leaving your goals behind.
- Use a small plate about 6-8” across- this tip will help keep portion sizes in check.
- If asked to bring a dish to a gathering, bring your own healthy option! It is helpful to know you have a food option that is healthy and you can enjoy. In addition, it can be fun to try out new recipes and make a healthy recipe a part of your family tradition.
- Prior to making food choices, take a few minutes to survey what is available. Decide what foods you will enjoy the most and choose a mindful portion. Abandon the idea that every dish deserves a try, and remember that enjoyment doesn’t come from taste alone. As a result of sticking to your health goals, enjoy your improved mood and boosted self-confidence for days!
- Plan your intake- Review what dietary balance looks like on your plate prior to a meal. Visit choosemyplate.gov for a quick review or remember this quick trick. The trick: Compare your plate to the size of your hands placed together. Protein foods should fit on one palm, all starches and carbohydrates on the other, and non-starchy colorful vegetables are left to fill the space on your fingers (about half the plate!).
- “Don’t drink your calories” and limit alcohol consumption- Eggnog takes the lead for fat content and contributes anywhere from 200-300 calories per 8 oz. serving without alcohol added! Craft beers can carry over 200 calories per bottle and similar calorie content is found in many mixed drinks and non-alcoholic punches. Red or white wine tends to have approximately 120 calories per glass, and can be savored over a longer period of time.
Sticking with these five tips will help you enjoy the holiday season in better health! For more information on how to get help with your weight loss journey, please visit our website for access to nutrition counseling, medical weight loss, and bariatric surgery.
Authors: Erika Steele, PAC and Alexandra Cook, RDN, Borgess Surgical Specialties