The average holiday meal can have as many as 5,000 calories double the average daily allowance.
The holidays are a time of family, friends and fun. It is also a time of food. The average American gains seven to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. That weight is difficult to take off, and research shows that most New Year’s resolutions are broken by February.
Moderation, innovation and motivation can help you to not gain the holiday 10 while still allowing you to enjoy your holiday season, says Christie Hust, M.S., R.D., L.D., CDE, director of the Diabetes Education Center at the Combest Center.
Here are some simple tips to keep the pounds away:
- Eat regularly don’t skip breakfast. This tends to increase overeating at the big meal.
- Balance your meals don’t overdo the rich foods. Instead, have a little of everything including fruits and vegetables.
- Leave what you don’t want and don’t get seconds.
- Beware of alcohol and snacks. Alcohol adds empty calories and can make you lose track of how many snacks you have eaten.
- Make a plan. How much of which foods am I going to eat? Who will support me? Will they go for a walk with me after dinner?
Take a look at all your recipes and find ways to cut calories, fat and salt.
Here are ways to tackle these issues:
- Change sugar to Splenda©.
- Use fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
- Use low sodium broth in your dressing and gravy.
Instead of frying foods, steam or bake them this year. Skip the thick sauces or butter on your vegetables. With a few minor changes special occasion foods can be delicious and nutritious. You don’t have to change everything, but changing a few dishes will help you have a healthier holiday.