Avoiding Holiday Nutrition Disasters

‘Tis the season …to be merry, to be jolly and for many, to let common sense when it comes to healthy eating go right out the window.  The alarming part is that it only takes that short period of time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s to undo a good portion of the healthy lifestyle many of us lead the remainder of the year.  Before you know it, that first week in January arrives and your clothes are super snug, your feeling lethargic and/or suffering from gastrointestinal upset caused by foods you don’t typically include as part of your regular diet.  How to remedy the situation?  Well, this year I’m going to try to stop it before it even begins.  I’ll share my strategy with you and please comment on this blog and share your own ideas or tricks you may have as well!

Parties & Events: Serious danger zone alert!  Usually these holiday events are filled with high calorie, high fat food options and lots of alcoholic beverages.  I’ll start by eating something light prior to going so I don’t arrive hungry.  Try checking out the entire spread before eating anything.  Allow yourself one “treat” (something you normally don’t eat) and then pick on the healthy options provided (fruit/vegetables, hummus, boiled shrimp or chicken skewers).  Limit your alcohol intake and sip water or tea in between drinks.

Family Holiday Meals: If you are hosting this won’t be very hard–simply make lots of veggie side dishes and you can fill up on them.  If you’re going to someone’s home for the meal, offer to bring a side dish and make sure you take more of the healthy options available, and less or none of the higher fat/calorie dishes.  It’s all about choices.

Exercise: My biggest failure this time of year is getting to the gym.  Things get so busy it’s hard to find time to do everything.  I’m making a commitment to myself this year to carve out an hour at least 3 times a week specifically for this reason and I’m determined to stick to it.  I know I’ll feel so much better if I do.  I’ll let you know how this goes in January …

Here are a few more diet and weight management tips that may help you get through the season. Good luck everyone–I think if we stick to these guidelines for the most part, we should be able to make it through the holiday season without much damage and feel a lot better come 2012!

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