Staying Healthy for the Holidays

November 20, 2018

For more information about Haywood Regional Nutrition Services, CLICK HERE 
DOWNLOADABLE PDF 

By: Lauren Teague, MHS, RD, CSSD, LDN, CDE
Program Development Manager/Registered Dietitian
Haywood Regional Medical Center/A Duke LifePoint Hospital


HOLIDAY EATING 

  • Americans gain 5-10 pounds on average during the holiday season, and has a tendency to stick around for the whole year
  • This weight gain can be avoided, this doesn’t mean not having your favorite holiday dish, but by being more mindful of your eating habits
  • The tips in this powerpoint will provide you with tools to prepare for the season

DO NOT SKIP MEALS

  • Do not skip meals in order to save calories for a holiday dinner party
    • There is no such thing as “banking” calories to eat your favorite foods later
  • Make sure you are eating small, frequent meals and snacks throughout the day to prevent overeating at a dinner party
SIZE MATTERS 
  • Choosing a smaller plate, like a 6 inch dessert plate instead of a dinner plate, can help you control your portions better
  • It can also give you the perception of having more food

FILL UP ON VEGETABLES

  • Try choosing the vegetable platter or salad prior to eating entrees or desserts
  • These will fill you up to prevent overeating fattier foods
  • Research shows those who eat salad before the main course eat less calories overall than someone who skips salad

EAT SLOWLY

  • It takes 15-20 minutes before your stomach can register that you have eaten, but most Americans eat their whole meal before the stomach knows it is full
  • Take breaks between bites to catch up with family and friends
  • Try putting your fork down between bites
  • Chew your food longer
BUFFET TABLE 
  • Once you arrive at a holiday party that has a buffet table, try to move your socializing away from the table to prevent picking and grazing on food
  • This mindless eating can increase the amount of calories you consume
  • When the food is out of sight, it will be less tempting to eat
EXERCISE 
  • Don’t let cold weather keep you from your exercise regimen
  • Consider getting a fitness center membership during the winter months to exercise indoors, or invest in long pants, coat, and gloves, and continue your exercise in the great outdoors
  • Exercising at least 30 minutes, 5 days per week will help keep off holiday weight gain. Don’t have 30 minutes? Fit in 10-15 minutes after each meal

To learn more about Haywood Regional Health & Fitness Center, CLICK HERE 

BRING YOUR OWN DISH

  • Bringing your own dish to a potluck or holiday event can give you control over what you are eating
  • Having these options available will help you control your intake
  • Additionally, your host will be so happy you brought a dish!

HEALTHY SUBSTITUTIONS 

  • Substitutions for ingredients in recipes can reduce the amount of calories, fat, and/or sodium in the dish
  • Try substituting low-sodium chicken broth in mashed potatoes instead of butter or margarine
  • Use fat-free Greek yogurt or fat-free sour cream in dips and sauces
  • Top dishes with sliced almonds instead of fried onion sticks
  • Make your pies and quiches crustless

TAKE THE FOCUS OFF FOOD 

  • We usually like to make cookies and snacks at Christmas. This year, try to change the focus on non-edible projects like making a Christmas wreath or a family holiday game night.
BE REALISTIC 
  • Be realistic during the holiday season and don’t try to lose weight
  • Instead, make your goal to maintain your weight
  • Once the stress of the holiday season is over you can start trying to lose weight again