Moderation is Key – Holiday Season or Year-Round
Many holiday traditions are closely associated with food, making it difficult to navigate endless dinners, cookie trays and tables laden with punch and eggnog while sticking to a nutritious eating plan. Moderation is key in healthy habits year-round, let alone around the holiday.
Mindful eating is a helpful tool year-round, but especially beneficial around the holidays. Think about what foods you enjoy compared to the foods that are available.
Indulging in special treats is okay in moderation and can still be enjoyed from time to time as part of a healthy diet.
Moderation is key in the office and in Family Gathering
If you have an office party or family gathering, you should plan ahead. Think about the foods that will be available and decide which ones are worth moderately enjoying. Decide to bring in a healthy dish.
Simple substitutions can also mitigate the calories or fat in a recipe, imparting the same taste and texture, but with considerably less guilt. Keep in mind that moderation is always key if you can’t find healthy options.
There is a variety of options that people can change in recipes. You can substitute skim milk for whole milk, use low-fat sour cream instead of regular, use evaporated skim milk and not heavy cream or regular evaporated milk instead of regular butter for fat-free or light butter spread.
Choose healthy alternative dessert options, like crustless pumpkin pie made with skim milk or fruit salad, can be healthy and crowd-pleasers as well.
Your stomach can take up to 20 minutes to cue you into feeling full. So, instead of getting a second plate of food, try packing a doggie bag to take home and enjoy as another meal.
Those who are on special diets, who must avoid certain foods for health reasons, should stick to their guns while sticking to their eating plan.
Be assertive. If you feel like a family member or friend is adamantly pressuring you to eat certain foods, explain why you are choosing not to eat them. Stand up for yourself and defend your healthy habits. Encourage them to join you in your quest for moderation and how it is key in your holiday healthy eating.
Those on diets for weight loss should maintain a regular exercise regimen as well.
If you know you may consume more calories than usual on a particular day, you can always add some extra cardio to your typical workout. Even taking a walk after a big meal can help burn a few calories, boost metabolism and make you feel better overall.
Making merry with alcoholic beverages can also deliver an unexpected number of calories.
Moderation is also key in alcohol intake and it will fit into a healthy habits and holiday celebrations, but the calories still count.
A 12-ounce lite beer or 1.5 ounces of liquor contains about 100 calories. Five ounces of wine or a 12-ounce regular beer contain between 125 to 150 calories. Mixed drinks contain even more than that.
Consuming one drink of alcohol is considered Moderate alcohol consumption and is defined as one to two drinks for men, but only one drink for women. If you plan on having a drink, skip that piece of the pie.
Even if some weight gain does occur, it’s important not to stress too much — the holidays only come once a year, and a healthy diet and exercise will pay off in the end.