It’s easy to gain pounds during the Christmas holiday season. It’s also easier than you think to eat smart during the holiday season!
We all know how to hard it is to avoid gaining weight during the holidays with all the delicious dishes offered at parties, dinners and get-togethers. For those hosting holiday parties on a budget, the healthier food is often the less expensive choice! So here are some tips on how to make smarter food choices this season!
How To Eat Smart During The Holiday Season
Eat Smart Before The Event
Eat before you go to parties or events with lots of snacks or sweets, even if it is something like holiday cookie decorating. Never go to an event famished. Smart eating prior to the event include fresh fruit and yogurt, cheese and crackers, soup , a lean sandwich, protein bars, etc. This will help control eating and loading up a plate with sugary or fatty snacks.
Or make a deal for weekend parties to reward eating smart or dieting during the rest of the week. Eat healthy, then keep in mind that a particular party can be a splurge, sort of like a barter system. Just keep the calorie intake within reason!
Survey Food Options At Events
Upon arrival at a party, quickly take a look at all the options, such as buffet tables, hors d’oeuvre plates, and snacks. Fill up a plate with healthier choices first so by the time the plate is empty, hunger pangs have gone away. Avoid bowls of mixed nuts, chips and dip, or Chex mix.
Decide Between Naughty and Nice Foods
Know what food is more suitable then others. Maybe choose one naughty food and all the rest can be nice foods to ensure a healthier outcome and that you eat smart. Decide on a strategy: eat a couple smaller appetizers, then only snack on veggies, or choose to eat only lean proteins and low-fat foods, such as salmon, meatballs, shrimp cocktail, or meat satays.
- Pastry appetizers
- Spinach dip and bread chunks
- Anything bacon-wrapped
- Buffalo wings, especially with sauce
- Creamy or thick dips
- Carmelized nuts, apples or other fruits
- Sugary cocktails
- Cotton candy
- Frosted holiday cookies
- Queso dip and chips
- Sugary sodas
- Swedish meatballs (because of the cream)
- Creamed vegetables
- Pecan pie
- Roast beef cold cuts
- Creamy pasta dishes
- Plain meatballs or chicken and shrimp on skewers
- Nuts in shells
- Green salads without heavy dressing
- Raw vegetables
- Low-fat chicken or shrimp salads or dips
- Deviled eggs made with low-fat ingredients
- Carpaccio (beef or tuna)
- Hummus and pita chips
- Seafood such as smoked salmon that is served alone without lots of sauces
- Fruit salad
- Fruit pie
- White wine
- Lean meats like turkey or ham cold cuts
- Regular sugar cookies with no frosting
- Sushi, no tempura or rich sauces
Always Limit Alcohol
Alcohol can be a big problem. Not only do many alcoholic beverages have an obscene amount of calories or sugar, but after a couple it can cause one to not care what they eat! With mixed drinks, use club soda, tonic or low-calorie diet sodas. Choose light beer and remember that five ounces of wine is a serving (white is a better option then red). Drink a water or diet soda in between alcoholic beverages.
Exercise A Little More….
Increase the usual exercise routine in order to burn off extra calories from the excess of holiday eating and treats. Do this by waking up a little earlier, or increasing the exercise routine by one or two more sessions per week.
The holidays should be a fun time filled with family, friends, good food, and great times. Don’t stress out about limiting food options, just eat smart as much as possible in order to keep off those extra five Christmas pounds.