Tips to help you eat healthier this holiday season

November 20, 2012

Planning for success is the key to surviving the dreaded holiday weight gain. Shop ahead and stock your pantry with healthy foods. Limit processed foods and just say no to impulse buys like pre-packaged cookies, candies and cakes. This season, you can stick with your healthy habits!

Plan for success and follow these simple holiday eating tips:

1. Save calories with simple recipe swaps: Create healthier versions of your holiday favorites by shaving calories wherever you can. Simple swaps of lower-fat ingredients are easy ways to save calories. For example, use chicken stock, fat-free yogurt, light cream cheese, and low-fat milk in place of high-fat ingredients. Substitute non-fat yogurt or applesauce for oil in baked goods.

2. Bring your own food: Your host certainly won’t mind a guest contributing a healthy dish, and you can ensure there’s something you can indulge in. Be sure to make sure your dish is heavy in vegetables.

3. Move away from the food, don’t linger in high calorie areas: Stand more than an arm’s length away from munchies while you chat so you’re not tempted to raise your hand to your mouth every few seconds.

4. Prioritize your favorites: Choose your indulgences wisely. Instead of wasting calories on foods that you can have at any time of the year, pick items that are truly special and unique to the season, like your grandmother’s candied yams.

5. Set realistic expectations: A good goal over the holidays is to maintain weight and stick to your exercise routine. You can also set realistic goals such as no snacking after dinner or taking the stairs every day.