X-mas Guide for Healthy Holidays

Dec 5, 2014Alexia Potamitou

The first thing you should do is get out your planner and mark down all the parties, events and festivities. Look over the month and note how many days and how many times in a day you will be partaking of the holiday fare. If you only have one or two events, no big deal, but if you have several back to back or on the same day, you will need to use the following strategies or suffer the consequences on the scale.

  1. Keep up your daily exercise routine. It may mean hopping on your total gym or treadmill first thing in the morning, but it will be well worth the effort. The calories you expend during exercise will prevent an expanded hip and waistline later.
  2. Eat sensibly all through the month. Do not skip meals in order to party later. Skipping meals almost always leads to excess eating. This practice can be extremely dangerous if you are going to a cocktail party where only appetizers and desserts are being served. One little potato cheese puff provides you with over 100 calories. Add in a handful of nuts, some chips and dip, a few cookies and a couple of cocktails and you are well over 1000 calories.
  3. Eat plenty of fresh green vegetable salads and fruits during the day.Use a small amount  of lean protein such as turkey, chicken, or fish for lunch. Save your breads and fats for the party.
  4. Survey the food table before you pick up your dish. Decide what you want and how much you are going to have before you put anything on your plate. You may want to pass on the beef tips in high fat gravy over noodles and opt for the fresh carved roast beef with au jus gravy.
  5. Use the smallest plate possible and don’t overload the plate. You can always go back for seconds if you are still hungry.
  6. Do not eat from the table. Only eat what you put on your plate. Find a comfortable spot in another room and sit down. Eat very slowly and engage in good conversation with family and friends.
  7. If you are unsure of a food, take only a small amount. You will avoid eating excess calories that you are not enjoying.
  8. Choose a solid piece of chicken, turkey or fish instead of rich creamy mixtures if possible. Limit the rich cheese sauces and gravies as well.
  9. Once you have selected your food move away from the table. Go into another room and sit down. If you can’t leave the room and must remain standing, turn your back to the food. Never face the plethora of delectable goodies.
  10. Remove the fried coating or skin of the chicken and opt for non-mayonnaise based salads. Watch the cheese and crackers. Four cubes of cheese, about the size of four dice, contain about 100 calories and 8 grams of fat. Six butter type crackers have about 140 calories. Combined they contain as many calories and fat as a small a chocolate brownie.
  11. Limit alcohol, especially if you must drive. Alcohol may make you eat more or select foods that you did not plan to eat. Also watch the rich creamy drinks and mixes, they may contain 250 to 500 calories depending on the size.