The Holiday Feast Survival Guide

October 26, 2012

Holiday dinners are filled with comforting, and delicious foods. Most of the times these meals leave us feeling stuffed and with some remorse to have consumed much more calories that we should have.
What we can do about it? Two registered dietitians have drawn up a survival guide that we can implement this coming holidays.
Patricia Nicholas, a registered dietitian at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, suggests to add "new favorites" to the traditional dishes. "Healthy meals can be festive as well and hopefully, you have been making healthy changes to your diet all year."
Michelle Morgan, a registered dietitian at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, further adds "Stay in tune with your hunger during holiday meals. If you feel satiated and comfortable – stop eating!"

The holiday feast survival guide

  • Re-think your appetizers. Incorporate healthier pre-meal snack options. Swap the bread bowl for whole-wheat pita with a low-fat bean dip!

  • Add some color to your holiday dinner spread with a bowl of fruit or a vegetable salad.
  • Choose smaller portions. You can still taste all the foods in your holiday spread without overeating. Remember, an occasional indulgence will not destroy your weight-loss attempts, and if you don't love something don't eat it.

  • The only thing that should be stuffed during the holidays is the turkey! Just because there is more food sitting around, does not mean you need to eat more. A forkful of pie will do less damage than a whole piece.

  • No need for second helpings; have a calorie-free chat instead. The holidays are a great time to engage in conversation with your loved ones – and this will not add inches to your waistline. Just be sure to move the conversation away from the food!

  • Don't skip meals prior to a holiday party or dinner. You are less likely to overeat if you have eaten well throughout the day.

  • Don't allow holiday activity to slow down your exercise program. Bundle up and take a walk after your holiday meal – this not only can prevent you from overeating and picking at leftovers, but is also a great way to burn off some of the extra calories you may have consumed.

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, via Newswise.


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