Do You Have A Nutrition Plan For This Holiday Season?

by Bethany Vessey, Registered Dietitian on October 3, 2012

From Thanksgiving to New Years is a three month window where research suggests the greatest rate of weight gain occurs in the year. It is a when we gather with loved ones and share laughter and food. It is also a time when we are more prone to overeating and then feeling guilty. Now I’m not saying we can’t enjoy the food that comes with these holidays, but with a little planning, maybe you can minimize the weight gain and maximize your enjoyment of the holidays!

1: Eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day. Do not skip meals trying to save room for the meal ahead! The best rule of thumb is to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks, throughout the day. A Registered Dietitian can help you figure out how many calories you need each day.

By having regular meals and snacks, you will feel more in better able to control of your food choices when the food is being passed around. Recognize these holiday events are not only about the food but that they are more importantly about the company you keep. So start getting excited to catch up with you ol Aunt May or your long lost cousin Bart and stopping putting so much attention into that pumpkin pie.

2: Drink lots of water throughout the day. It is recommended you drink anywhere between 6-12 classes of water/day. Be sure to get your daily intake in so that you do not go to your meal dehydrated. Being dehydrated at meal time can leave you feeling more hungry than you actually are.

3: You control the portions! No one is saying you cannot have your treat, but it is important to watch how much of the treat you have. If you are like me and have more than one holiday meal over a 3 day period, then you want to make a mindful choice and decide that you do not need to try both Aunt Judy’s pie and Aunt Mable’s or you could have a small piece of each! Often these meals are done buffet style with big serving spoons and pre-cut desserts. That doesn’t mean you have to fill that spoon with all the mashed potatoes you can or that you have to eat the large dessert portions your host may have set out. Taking smaller portions allows you to enjoy a little bit of a lot of food, still feel full and not feel like you are being denied your holiday treats.

4: Keep up with your current activity to help keep the calories in check Make sure you do not pass up workouts as your schedule gets busier! Plan ahead. Your workouts will not only help balance out your energy intake but it will also help you manage the stress of the season. Also, it will maintain that habit of being active that you have worked so hard to establish.

5: Try a new recipe or find ways to modify your old recipes to make it healthier! In most cases you are usually able to find a recipe which taste like ol faithful but has been modified to be healthier.

Being healthy is “in”. So be that family member who not only shows they care enough to make a dish but show that you care enough to make it a healthier one too! Trust me you will be the star of the show! Everyone will want to know your tricks and will be grateful you took the time to make it healthier, because believe me, you are not the only one who cares about eating healthy over this holiday season. Some of my favorite resources to find healthier recipes are, the “LooneySpoons Collection Cookbooks”, and “ All Recipes.Com” is a great website.

These are just a few helpful hints that will hopefully get your mind thinking. Be sure to check back to my blog often as we will be posting healthier recipes ideas, along with fitness and nutrition tips that can help you enjoy this holiday season! Also be sure to watch for our upcoming nutrition seminars!

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