healthy holidays

Simple Food Swaps for Healthy Holiday Eating

family mealMaybe you've been able to drop a few pounds recently or hold your weight steady by eating more healthfully and exercising a bit. Are you worried that seasonal indulgences might sabotage your efforts? You're not alone.

The holidays are coming, and you know what that means—sit-down dinners with heaping platters of meat, gravy and sauce-laden vegetables, and buffet tables so filled with cheese-topped appetizers, mayonnaise-soaked salads and rich desserts that you can't see the tablecloth underneath. Gifts of irresistible candy, cookies, pies and cakes add to the temptations. No wonder our best intentions to eat in moderation crumble faster than fresh gingerbread!

De-stress for success

Does it have to be this way? There are scientists who say it doesn't, but only if you keep a careful notebook record of every morsel you eat. Just imagine how much fun you'll have at holiday parties, balancing a plate and drink while you try to scribble, "one pig, no blanket, extra mustard." Forget the notebook and de-stress to help keep holiday eating healthy, advises Jo-Anne Rizzotto, M.Ed., R.D., L.D.N., C.D.E., a registered and licensed dietitian at the Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston. "Take time for yourself, even for just a few minutes," she says. "Make the holidays a conscious thought." By doing a little pre-planning, "you may be able to make different decisions."