Avoid Packing on Holiday Pounds: Maximize Meals, Minimize Your Waistline

by on November 23rd, 2011 at 7:00 am

Sticking to healthy eating habits is particularly tough around the holidays. From resisting the temptation to indulge in excessive sweets of the season to limiting calorie-laden holiday party noshing, making a pact with yourself to go easy on the indulging can help avoid any unhealthy New Year’s crash diets.

  • Eat smaller meals throughout the day to rev up metabolism. Always include at least 1 serving of fruits and/or veggies with every meal.
  • Drink more water between meals.
  • Sensibly season your foods! Boredom is a huge factor behind overindulgence. Read food labels and reduce intake of added sugar, corn syrup and salt. Use fresh herbs and spices to enhance taste instead.
  • Control stress, as the stress hormone cortisol can wreak havoc on your mid-section—not to mention common “emotional eating”.
  • Plan your meals. Too often, we succumb to the convenient fast food, skipping meals (which often leads to over-eating later), or not getting sufficient intake of nutritious fuel sources.
  • Go easy on the alcohol. Full of empty calories, drinks can add inches to your waistline, especially if you’re a fan of additives. Sugary flavorings, sweet liquors and creams and mixers can pack hundreds of calories in just one serving. You’re also much more likely to consume extra snacks you may have normally turned down if not under the influence.  Switch to drinks with club soda, and always have a glass of water in-between each alcoholic drink.
  • Indulge in moderation. Experts agree that deprivation often leads to binging- so enjoy your favorites occasionally but always keep in mind moderation!

In addition, check out some notoriously ‘bad’ foods that are actually ‘good’ for you (in moderation)

  • Eggs – Avoided by some for their cholesterol content, when eaten occasionally, deliver a good source of protein.
  • Steak – A lean cut of meat is full of healthy protein – just be sure to practice portion control.
  • Pasta – Carbs are NOT the enemy! Just be sure to choose whole-grain varieties.
  • Nuts – High in the “good” fats and rich in fiber and protein, you can help stabilize blood sugar to reduce sugar cravings and hunger.
  • Cheese – Studies have shown that the body burns more fat when it gets enough calcium – so indulge in this dairy product now and then!

 

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