FIVE Tips to Prevent the Holiday Weight Gain

Vegetables are a crucial part of a healthy diet. Not only are they packed solid with vital vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, but they tend to be naturally low in calories. Therefore, you to eat a LOT without a making a huge dent in your caloric allotment. Of course, be aware of how they are prepared. Steamed, roasted and lightly sautéed in an oil tend to be the best. Also, try to focus on the “non-starchy” kind: leafy greens (kale, spinach, romaine, etc.), broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, green beans, etc., rather than the “starchy” vegetables (potatoes, carrots, winter squash etc.). Next time you are at a gathering, try to fill HALF your plate with these non-starchy vegetables, and then go for the rest!

 

There are many holiday dishes that are tradition to make for parties and gatherings. For example, candied sweet potatoes, mac and cheese, lasagna, are certainly delicious, but likely not the most nutritious. So, why not be that person to bring a healthy side dish. That way not only will others have some variety to enjoy, but you can be sure to have something nutrient dense and lower in saturated fats, added sugars, sodium and overall calories. Some examples:

  • Tossed Kale Salad
  • Raw Veggie and Humus Platter
  • Shrimp Cocktail (Try making your own Cocktail Sauce!)
  • Roasted Vegetable Medley
  • Steamed Veggies
  • Fruit Platter

 

Gingerbread men, sugar cookies and peanut butter balls galore. How are you supposed to choose which to eat? Just try them all? My challenge to you is to prioritize which you select. Which treat is your favorite? Have that. Then at the next gathering have something different! Try to have your health and goals in mind during the selection process…they will be there next year! 🙂

 

Many people disregard liquid calories because it doesn’t have the same satiating effect as eating food does. However, these beverages, especially ones that tend to appear around the holidays, tend to carry along a significant amount of added sugars, sometimes saturated fats, and of course, calories. Some of the top offenders include:

  • Egg Nog (1 cup) 225 calories,  20g added sugar,  7g saturated fat
  • Hot Chocolate (1 cup) 195 calories,  25g added sugar, 7g saturated fat
  • Holiday Cocktail (nutrition varies) ~200calories
  • Starbucks Peppermint Mocha (Grande)  360 calories, 60g added sugar

Make sure to keep these liquid calories in mind! Always stock up on water first! When it comes to cocktails try to lighten it up with seltzer water and a splash of juice. And, if you must have a specialty espresso drink, try asking for less pumps of syrup than usual to decrease the added sugars!

 

 

I am sure you’ve heard it: prepare to succeed. During a time where you are likely to have extra cookies laying around and left overs from parties, it is easy to eat a higher quantity of heavier foods for meals and snack throughout the day. Try to make sure you have some nutrient dense foods ready to grab. We are all busy during this time of year, so we are more apt to grab whatever is prepared, rather than going out of our way to prepare something that may be healthier. Some great options are:

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Hummus
  • Salsa
  • Nuts
  • Greek yogurt

In addition, try to keep your meals balanced with lean protein, whole grains and a nice pile of veggies 🙂