How to Survive The Holiday without Gaining the Weight
by Renee Wiggins
(Silver Spring, MD, USA)
Renee Wiggins,RD.LD, Certified Health and Wellness Coach
No matter what time of year or holiday season fun activities and food are usually part of the package.
Renee Wiggins shares her viewpoit about the festive season and weight!
I bet you cannot eat just one slice of either pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie at Thanksgiving. This is the holiday where everyone forgets about their diet and overindulges on the foods and beverages. Who can resist the smells, aromas and the colors of the food at the table?
If you are like me, then you have no choice but to visit different relatives, and friends as a part of the festivities. The fear is that if you decline an invitation, then you won’t be invited back the following year. What is a person supposed to do?
There are a few things you can do to stay true to your dietary needs and health while enjoying this season of fatty foods. For example, take one of your low-fat dishes, to help you avoid the high-fat dishes on your host’s menu without offending them. Take something that can be shared, and that also serves as a way of saying thank you.
If you are going two or more homes, then portion out all of your meal courses. You can eat meat and vegetables at one house and at the second house just focus on the vegetables and low-fat salads. Or have your dessert as in one piece of pie with a low-calorie beverage at the last house and before going home for the evening.
If Thanksgiving is at your house, serve more vegetables without the sauces. Or serve the sauce on the side. Mix vegetables in your macaroni and cheese dish. If you’re serving something like coleslaw, add diced up apples or pineapple mixed with low-fat mayo with a low-fat yogurt.
The appetizers can be hummus served with toasted whole pita bread, and serve fruit with a low-fat dip. Blend chick peas with avocado and tomatoes served with baked tortilla chips. Place unsalted crackers on a plate and place a cherry tomato cut in half on top. This is a good mix of salt and sweet.
Everyone is juicing now, so why not juice fruit with spinach and your other favorite vegetables, and serve chilled in 4-ounce glasses topped with cherries.
During the holidays, I like spiced apple cider with whipped cream on top and a drizzle of caramel sauce. A lower-calorie version is 1 tablespoon of low-fat whipped cream topping with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Suggest some exercises to your hosts like a Dancing with the Stars type contest, or a group walk around the block to burn some of those calories.
You can sponsor a step contest for the participants who walk. Offer a $10 gift card to the person who takes the most steps in a post-meal walking activity.
For those who love to shop on Black Friday, be mindful of what you eat while you’re shopping. Watch blood sugar levels, and eat regularly, and eat good foods that won’t zap your energy or cause you to overeat in the mall. The best thing you can do when you go shopping is to take your own trail mix, popcorn or unsalted pretzels. This way you not only save on calories, but give your wallet a rest.
Beware of mall or drive-thru juice and shake bars, because their small drinks alone are about 800 calories or more. It is better to take your own bottle of water and add a ½ ounce of Crystal Light for flavor.
Be careful and conscious during the holiday season. Enjoy the holiday without the weight gain.