By Adrian Kohrt
The holiday season has officially arrived and with it comes holiday celebrations, office parties and lots of baking at home. How can we get through the holiday season without putting on those extra five pounds that seem to always creep up around our waistlines between Thanksgiving and New Years?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has developed a nutrition guide called MyPlate and it includes the following:
· Make half your grains whole grains
· Move to low-fat and fat-free milk or yogurt
· Vary your protein routine, including adding more fish in your diet
· Drink and eat less sodium, saturated fat and added sugars
Remember to make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Color, color, color. Incorporate as many different colors as possible when you are choosing your fruits and vegetables. Be adventurous and try something new. You can find information about MyPlate and seasonally healthy recipes at www.choosemyplate.gov.
On a regular basis, drink water or low-fat milk. Water is the best thing you can give your body. There is nothing more refreshing than a cold glass of water with a lemon or strawberries added to it for flavor. No sugar needs to be added.
The saturated fat, sodium and added sugars found in the foods are important to think about when you are planning holiday meals. People tend to add sugars, sodium and ingredients high in saturated fat when they are preparing foods and beverages. When in the store, read your food labels and see what the top ingredients are in the foods and beverages you are buying.
Remember that the best changes occur when they happen in small steps. When considering plans to change your eating habits, make changes that reflect your personal preferences, culture and traditions. Think of each small step you make as a positive step in building good habits and finding solutions that will assist you in creating a new healthy-eating lifestyle. Every change you make is one step closer to a healthier you.
Don’t forget physical activity. If you have a regular exercise routine, do not forget to continue it. It is very easy to get busy with all the holiday preparations and temporarily set aside your normal routines. If you do not routinely exercise, remember that every extra step you take is that much more exercise you are getting. If you are grocery or present shopping, walk through all the aisles instead of just the one that you need. Even though it is cold, park a little farther from the store than you normally would. Consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator. It is recommended that adults walk 10,000 steps per day to stay healthy.
Here are some tricks for eating healthy this holiday season:
· Eat a little bit of food before going out to parties. This will allow you to have more control of your eating choices.
· Instead of having three drinks, limit yourself to two.
· Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed.
· Eat the most tempting food first in small amounts.
· Instead of eating your food quickly, eat slowly and savor the flavor
· Be realistic. Instead of trying to lose weight during the holidays, simply aim to maintain your present weight.
· If you eat heavy on one meal, go light on the next one. This will cut down in your overall daily calorie count.
The holiday season is a time to share with friends and family and it is also a time to eat good food. There is no reason that you have to skip out on all the good things. Eat in moderation and maintain your physical activity.