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Although it has the tendency to get a little crazy, the holiday season tends to be everyone’s favorite time of year. And while 2020 has affected all of our holiday gatherings, office parties and family get-togethers, it’s still very easy for your health and nutrition goals to get sabotaged. Here are several tips that can help you get through the next few weeks.

  • Is Your Belly Empty?  Don’t go to a function starving (or skip a meal before getting there) as you’re more likely to overeat and eat more of the not so healthy stuff.  Instead, eat a healthy snack like fresh fruit or vegetables paired with a protein or healthy fat (i.e. apple with nut butter, veggies with hummus and a hard-boiled egg)
  • Limit or avoid the high calorie or sugary drinks (think eggnog, creamy coffee drinks, hot chocolate).  Keep in mind that alcohol adds extra empty calories and also alters your thinking when it comes to choosing junk foods. Beware!
  • At the family feast!  Try to fill at least half your plate with the veggie dishes.  Then grab a handful of lean protein and the rest of the plate can be your favorite sweet potato dish or mashed potatoes.  All in moderation just don’t forget about the colorful veggies first!
  • Move more, not less!  Not only will taking a walk or getting a workout in get you energized for the day, it will help to reduce holiday stress and burn some of the extra calories you are consuming.
  • Slow Down!  Sit down with you friends and family and enjoy each and every bite of the homemade dishes and goodies.   When you eat fast it will take longer for your body to register it is full and you may already be on your second plate.  Yikes!
  • Going Overboard?  Sit down, relax.  Don’t beat yourself up too much if you ate way more than you planned to.  Some of those dishes are super special and your aunt or grand mom made them just for you…thank goodness you get them only one time a year.
  • You be the Good Guy!  Plan and prepare a healthy dish to your function – that way you know when in doubt, have what you brought.
  • Where are you hanging out?  We all know that if you’re hanging out by the appetizers you’re probably going to eat the appetizers…hungry or not.  A lot of family and friends like to gather in the kitchen even when it’s not time to eat.  Chances are you’ll mindless eat if the food is right there at arms distance.
  • Check the Spread!  Look at what all is offered before you devour everything.  Balance the good with the not so good and make healthy choices fill most of your plate first.
  • Research your Recipes!  Can you switch out lowfat milk or use broth instead of all the butter on a side dish? Can you use applesauce instead of sugar for a dessert? Take off excess skin or visible fat on your meats?

Source: Natalie Logan, RD, LD, Fresh N Fit Cuisine

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