For many, Christmas celebrations can turn into all day eat-athons. While we shouldn’t feel guilty for partaking in the holiday festivities, the focus doesn’t have to be on unhealthy eating and overindulgence.
For healthy and happier Christmas celebrations, follow these key tips.
Do not arrive famished. Let moderation be your mantra today. Don’t skip meals and binge later. Stick to your regular routine of three or more meals a day. Eating a banana or apple or 12 whole raw almonds 20 minutes before you arrive, may cut the edge off your appetite before entering the party room.
Hydrate. Keep water on-hand the entire day. Start with 16 oz water before taking your first cocktail, wine or alcoholic beverage. Strategize before you arrive to limit yourself to one to two alcoholic drinks. Before meal time, have an extra glass of water so you are sure you are eating to satisfy hunger, not thirst.
Choose wisely. Peruse the food table before making choices. Look out for low fat options and fill your plate first with those first. Smart choices include veggies, fruit, shrimp or seafood, wholegrain crackers, poultry or lean beef. When there is less room on your plate for higher calorie foods, you’ll make better decisions and go easy on the high-calorie indulgences that add up, including sweets and fried foods.
Shop smartly. If you are the one entertaining, remind yourself how many guests will be in attendance. If you are having guests over just one day or meal, buy just what you need. Avoid filling the shopping cart with too many extra eats. Because remember, when all are gone, who will be left eating them? Stock up on healthy snacks. Great options include dried fruits, unsalted nuts, popcorn and fruit served low fat yogurt dip.
Take a seat. When it’s time to eat, pull up a chair and avoid mindless grazing. Standingmakes us eat more and most of the time we’re not fully aware or enjoying what we are eating. Sit down and take full pleasure in the holiday meal and family and friends around. After all – that’s why you’re there!
For more ideas on holiday and heart-healthy eating, check out The Cooper Clinic Solution to the Diet Revolution: Step Up to the Plate (2009). My guidebook of tips makes healthy eating fun and more manageable. Connect with me online at @GeorgiaKostas and Facebook/Georgia KostasNutrition and visit: http://www.georgiakostas.com.
This nutrition information does not address individual health conditions. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian to meet specific health and dietary needs.