(The following is a blog post written by Ramona Stueve, RN, CBN, Ascension Via Christi Weight Management program nurse in Manhattan.)
1. Keep up Your Intake of Fruits and Vegetables. Governmental recommendations suggest that we should be eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. For parties, be sure to include fruit and vegetable trays with healthy dip
options. Eating all this disease-preventing, healthy roughage fills you up.
2. The Powerful Dip. If you are hosting a party or supplying food for a party, go light on the dips. Use hummus or plain Greek yogurt mixed with“ranch” spices for veggies. Use flavored Greek yogurt mixed with a little “Cool Whip” for fruit dips. There are a lot of healthy dip recipes out there, including our Pumpkin Dip recipe from the October newsletter.
3. Never Say Never. Don’t’ try to ban all treats, it’s not necessary. Just keep treats to a minimum and fill up on healthier items. One piece of Pumpkin Pie is healthy!
4. Eat a Snack Before Leaving the House. If you’re starving before a party, eat a little bit of protein or high fiber food before you head out. This will help keep you from ravaging the holiday fare and may keep you satisfied long enough to make crucial nutrition decisions while enjoing time with your friends.
5. Don’t Eat Mindlessly. People sometimes eat out of social anxiety or to keep their hands busy, and this habit can help contribute to weight gain. If you nibble to occupy yourself in front of others, do it with healthy choices and take small bites. Watch for signs of eating out of stress or emotion and aim for self-care and prevention.
6. Shift the Focus. Shift the focus from the holiday food to the people-catching up with old friends and making new ones. Keeping this in the forefront of your mind will help keep food more in the background, thus setting priorities straight.
7. Say NO to high-calorie gifts. What’s out of sight is out of mind---and mouth! Let friends and relatives know ahead of time to not send you treats that will sabotage your weight loss/maintenance efforts. Traditions can be broken or changed. It is no longer necessary to make all the holiday candy, pies and cakes. Most people are trying to eat healthier! Encourage them to send fruit baskets, healthier popcorn options, nuts or cheeses.
Holiday Time does not need to be an unhealthy time! Spread the word about the need for healthier holiday fare, watch what and how you’re eating, put the emphasis back on people, not food. Enjoy!
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