Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Healthy Tips for Eating During the Holidays

Health and holiday do not cancel each other out. It may take a bit of careful steering on your part, but it is possible to eat, drink, and be merry without losing sight of the nutrition goals you've been pursuing all year

Shift Gears. The road ahead will be filled with lots of delicious detours but that doesn't mean you have to lose your way. If you've been following a weight loss regimen, Downshift for the next few weeks and keep your eye on maintaining your present weight.

Prepare for the Trip. If you know you're heading for a party at night, the worst thing to do is to starve all day. Just the opposite. Eat a well-balanced breakfast and lunch but make them a bit more low-calorie than usual. And if time permits, increase your exercise in preparation. Add an extra thirty minutes to your gym time or leave the car in a central place and walk to all your errands, returning to stow your bundles in the trunk and starting out again. In other words, use your day to earn your night.

Cruising. Don't dive into the appetizers, but don't avoid them either. Grab a plate, the smallest you can find and cruise past, then cruise past again, scanning your choices. Look for raw foods or ones that have been prepared simply and naturally. You'll find that the fiber and texture of whole grains and veggies will satisfy you just as much as crunchy fried foods and dip-soggy chips. And once you've made your choice, move as far away from the buffet table as you can.

Maintain the Speed Limit. Eat consciously, employing what mindful meditation practitioners call the Four S's - Sit, Savor the texture of each mouthful, Slowly chew, Still your mind.
Or if you prefer, take the opposite tack. Get your mind off food. Plate in hand, use this time to circulate and socialize. After all isn't that why you go to a party? Engage your mouth primarily in talking, and only secondarily in eating.

Unlawful Drinking. Eggnog is definitely a felony and sweet mixed drinks, misdemeanors. If you prefer an alcoholic beverage and still want to follow the rules limit yourself to white wine. But start off with a glass of seltzer. The carbonation will slow down the process of drinking while allowing you to circulate, glass in hand like everyone else.. And should you want more than one glass of wine, first have another seltzer.

Rough Road Ahead. Sitting down at the dinner table is fraught with temptation with all those plates and platters passed your way, but there are a few ways to deal with it without drawing attention to your predicament.
Fill your plate, with salad and vegetables taking up half, and use the other half for whatever meats or sides that may tempt you. Starting with salad, eat one foodstuff at a time, saving whatever is your favorite for last. This counteracts the tendency people have to unconsciously shovel food into their mouths. You just may find that by the time you get to your saved treasure, you're full.

And when table mates pass the dessert you just may find yourself saying. "That looks delicious but I just can't take another bite!"

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