The holiday season is the time of year to celebrate your blessings, have some fun and feel your best. Many of you have worked hard all year to drop those excess pounds. Don’t let the holidays sabotage you.
This holiday season, I encourage you to adopt a “maintain, not gain” attitude. Here are seven tips to help you stay on track.
1. Minimize Temptations
Have a healthy snack before leaving home. This will help you have a more sensible portion of your favorite foods and prevent you from overindulging.
2. Portion or Pounds
You don’t have to completely avoid your favorite foods, but limit your portion size to smaller servings. Fill at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables and limit the cheese cubes, crackers and little puff pastry appetizers to two or three.
3. Choose Wisely
Christmas cookies are tempting and delicious but choose wisely. A small cookie averages 50–100 calories. An iced cutout sugar cookie averages 150 calories.
4. Eat Slowly
Savor the flavor and enjoy the food and the company.
5. Step Up Your Activity
It’s really quite simple: If you are going to take in more calories, you need to figure out how you are going to use them. To burn extra calories, increase your activity level. If you figure running one mile burns about 100 calories (this is an average), and you eat three sugar cookies or drink a cup of eggnog, you will need to run six miles. Add on some cheese, crackers, chips and dip, a piece of pie, some nuts, and a couple chocolate kisses, and you’ll need to start looking for a winter marathon.
6. Don’t Nibble As You Work
When you sample holiday goodies as you prepare them, do you know how many calories you’re consuming? I bet not! Those bites can add up quickly.
- 1 bite cookie dough = 50 calories
- 1 finger of fudge batter = 50 calories
- 1 tablespoon of frosting = 60 calories
- The cookie that didn’t fit in the tin = 150 calories
- That cube of cheese left on the plate = 25 calories
- The piece of candy that flows over the candy dish = 100 calories
- The 15 pieces of broken crackers that are unsuitable for serving to company = 135 calories
7. Watch High-calorie Holiday Drinks
Some of the most popular holiday drinks can be made lower in calories with just a few simple revisions, such as requesting low fat or non-fat milk. Switching to non-fat milk will save you 100–200 calories, depending on the size of the drink.
Remember, the holidays are a time to gather with family and friends. Play holiday games, sing carols, and go for evening walks to enjoy the holiday lights. Concentrate on the all the joys of the holiday season, not just the food.
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