By Kristen Mucci-Mosier
I don't know about you, but I feel like I'm constantly eating during the holidays. It's hard not to indulge in all the tempting treats that surround us this time of year. Here are some simple tips for keeping off those extra pounds this season.
1. Bring your own snacks. If you're heading out to Aunt Thelma's for the holidays where you know they'll be fatty foods galore, bring healthy treats to nosh on and share. You'll be doing something good for yourself and others. Maybe veggies and hummus? Steamed edamame with a little sea salt? Or how about tortilla chips (all natural or baked) and salsa or guacamole?
3. If you're in charge of the menu, cook smart. Set out the healthy snacks suggested above. Make lots of veggies, and instead of topping them with butter, try a bit of olive oil, fresh herbs, lemon juice or even a little parmesan cheese. Choose turkey, chicken or fish as alternatives to fattier meats. And try some of our tips for healthier baking.
2. Don't sit down for a holiday meal starved. Skipping breakfast or lunch will just make you want to shovel it in by dinner, so have something healthy to eat during the day to avoid overeating later.
3. Don't deprive yourself. First, fill your plate with lots of salad or veggies, leaving less room to add meat and high-glycemic carbs, but still allowing yourself to enjoy your favorite holiday foods. If you're going for seconds, choose veggies first.
4. Breathe and chew. Before digging into your meal, take a few deep breaths. As you enjoy each bite, make sure to pay attention and chew. If you think you might want seconds, relax for a few minutes, dink some water and see if you're still hungry after that.
5. Opt for water or seltzer (maybe with a splash of cranberry?) over a soda. If you choose to have alcohol, do it in moderation and go for the antioxidant-filled red wine over beer or other beverages.
And don't forget to keep moving. Take a walk before and after dinner - it can help you digest and give you some peace and quiet!
For more easy ways to keep your family healthy and happy this season, see our Healthy Holidays Guide.