This time of year is filled with temptations galore and little to no time to think about meal planning. We all hear talk about the 10 pound holiday weight gain and the New Year’s Resolutions to follow. Well, I am here to debunk the “10 pound holiday myth” today! I will begin with the good news. According to the National Institute of Health, the average American gains 1 pound throughout the holiday season (not 5-10 pounds as many people report). Now, on to the bad news. Most people keep this extra pound in the coming year, and the extra weight accumulates with each passing holiday season. Keep in mind that the “holidays” are truly only 3 days – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. It is what happens in between those days that can lead to trouble for many people. Here are 5 simple tips that will aide in having a Healthy, Holiday Season:
- Eat a light snack such as soup, fruit, or cereal before parties. This will help to curb your hunger and allow you to make better choices.
- Bring a low-fat dish to the holiday party. Better yet, go home empty handed!
- Substitute “better for you” ingredients in your prepared dishes and baked goods. Try all natural stevia in place of sugar; use dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate; substitute skim milk in place of whole milk; and opt for the veggies with dip instead of the potato chips and dip.
- Pick times to get together that do not revolve around a meal. Celebrate and focus on what the holidays are really about!
- Stick with your current exercise routine during the holidays. In fact, push yourself to be even more active by sledding, skating, or snowshoeing as a family for fun! It might even become a new tradition!