So the question is, how can you try to maintain your weight and health during such a tempting time? Follow these holiday survival tips:
1. Get moving - One of the most effective ways to maintain or lose
body weight is to engage in regular, sustained aerobic activity for at
least 30 minutes a day. Exercise is a great way to burn those extra
2. Aim for seven-a-day - Making sure you eat seven or more servings of
3. Control the risk for temptation - Controlling even the slightest chance of coming in contact with "tempting" foods is one way to effectively reduce your intake. While you won't be able to control all situations, focus on the many ones you can. Remove candy and cookies from your workspace and take the candy/cookie dish off the dining room table. Make a mental note of tempting places and try to control them.
4. Limit to one-a-day - Let's face it! Chocolate candy and pecan pies are yummy! It's ok to have a piece of candy or a slice of pie. It's not ok to have a plate full of desserts. Try the one-a-day method. Allow yourself one small serving of something sweet each day during the holiday season. Remember that you may have to compensate for it later in the day by reducing your total caloric intake or by burning a few extra calories while exercising.
5. Always plan ahead - Never go to a party hungry. Before you go to a holiday party, eat a healthy snack so that you won't have those sudden cravings. If you're going to a potluck dinner, bring a healthy dish to share such as a salad, veggie or fruit tray or low-fat dessert. That way, you'll know you have at least one healthy item on the table spread.
6. Be in charge of your party choices:
* Small plates mean small portions - Choose a small plate and small portions of those appetizers and don't go back for seconds.
* Avoid the sauce - Avoid sauces made from cream, half-and-half or meat drippings. For salads, use oil and vinegar, vinaigrette or low-fat dressings. Broth-based or vegetable sauces are fine.
* What about desserts? - The best low-calorie choices are fruit, Jell-O, pudding, an un-frosted mini muffin, shortbread cookies, ginger snaps or angel food cake. Remember the one-a day rule if you can't have the above choices.
* Watch the drinks - Restrict alcohol to one or two servings and try to avoid the high-fat eggnog. The best choices are water, unsweetened ice tea, hot tea or coffee.
7. Say No Politely - Many times you may feel forced to eat foods because people keep putting it in front of you. Learn to say no politely, such as "No thank you, I've had enough. Everything was delicious", or "I couldn't eat another bite. Everything tasted wonderful." You'll find saying no isn't so hard to do after all.
8. Focus on socializing - Don't stand around the food table when you are at a party - focus your energies on making conversation with others instead of focusing on foods. Conversation is calorie-free.