Personal Training, Fitness and Nutrition Motivation

Monday, November 17, 2008

Be a Smart and Healthy Eater During the Holidays

The holidays should not mean putting your good nutrition program on holiday as well. I have prepared some tips to help you stay focused and allowing for a little moderation. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and remember to continue your exercise programs while enjoying the festivities.

Have you heard of the book called the “Food Snob”? It is a fantastic book that tells you how to enjoy a splurge. I have to agree. Do not waste your time on calories that just are not worth it. What do you really desire to eat at that party? Scan the table…avoid the blasé foods like crackers and chips. Try a sample of the host’s signature dish or fabulous hors d’oeuvre. If you sample something that tastes ….well ….crappy ….. Discreetly ditch the item and try again. Once you have found that perfect splurge sample, savor every bite and put the fork down.

Grab a plate. Do not be one of those eaters who stands over the food items dipping and grazing. You have no control here. Putting your food items on a plate allows you to have control of your portions. Also, pick up a SMALL plate. This will reduce or at least ensure that the portions are the proper size.

Head for the veggie tray. Place plenty of the GOOD stuff like fresh veggies and fruits on your plate and leave little room for the high-calorie items like sweets and cheeses being served at the event.

Enjoy great conversation while sipping on lemon water. This also keeps you from talking with your mouth full of food….pretty gross as well.

Reduce your options. Variety is the spice of life except when it comes to food at parties. Variety food options at parties tend to be an open door for overeating. Instead of feeling as if you have to sample every type of mini sandwich, select one type. You will grow tired of that flavor more quickly but feel satisfied and on lower calories….YEAH!

EAT SLOWLY! This can not be emphasized enough. It takes 20 minutes for your body to register that you are full. If you are surrounded by speed eaters, make sure you have that glass of water nearby to sip often, as you enjoy eating at a slow pace.

DRINK SMART! Alcohol calories add up quickly and tend to weaken your resistance when it comes to eating. Studies have shown that drinking and eating portion sizes that are too large go hand in hand. Be a slender drinker and select a slender glass for your beverage. Head for a small glass of champagne or wine over the hard stuff. Also, wine and champagne encourage sipping, are less in calorie than mixed holiday punches and those hard mixed drinks.

If you slip, do not slide the rest of the way down. If you eat 3 helpings of stuffing, half slice of chocolate Christmas cake, DO NOT tell yourself….I BLEW IT SO I MIGHT AS WELL FINISH OFF ANOTHER PIECE OF CAKE. Think about the night….did you come to the party starving? Did you stand by the food table all night because you did not know that many people? If you are attending a function where you do not know very many people, make sure you eat a small, healthy meal before leaving for the party. Once you arrive at the party, stay away from the Danger Zone (that damn buffet table), meet a great new friend and have a fun conversation.

I hope these tips are helpful for you as you get ready to PARTY! My favorite splurges during the holidays are pumpkin pie and apple dumplings. I will pass up mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and any other high fat, grease/butter laden food item so that my splurge calories are saved for the pie!

Stay healthy!

1 comment:

  1. Darla,

    thank you so much for your advices.
    I usually try to contain myself... limit the size and trying to be selective on what I eat.

    In your blog you say "EAT SLOWLY! This can not be emphasized enough. It takes 20 minutes for your body to register that you are full", it is a great advice good for the holiday season and for the daily eating habits.

    I have to admit I am a fast eater and I am cleaning the dishes while everyone is still eating...just ask Sandra.

    Though I have learned to know how much I can eat and need to eat. ... now I think I have just to work on the manners at the table ;-)



Comments and Questions