- You can eat well and be well this holiday season, with these tasty treats, party tricks and simple strategies.
Whenever a holiday season arrives, you can always count on being tempted by dozens of delicious treats. This makes it very difficult to stay true to any diet.
Those foods look and smell so appealing that many people just abandon their weight loss plans and give in to the temptations that they are facing.
For a large percentage of the population, the festive atmosphere of those major holidays can also result in the gain of 3-10 pounds during those special celebrations.
Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, Christmas, Easter and Labor Day are just a few of the holidays where calorie-laden dishes fill the tables to overflowing.
If you do not want to constantly have to deal with setbacks that interrupt your dieting timeline then you need to know how to rein in your appetite when extreme food temptations are being thrust right in front of your nose.
Healthy Holiday-Eating Strategies
Luckily there are some tips that you can use that can keep you on a healthy eating track.
Begin each day with the right attitude and never skip one breakfast. This morning meal is very important for your health, and it also plays a major role in any weight-loss diet.
When you eat some essential carbs, fiber and protein in the morning it gets you started on the right track.
These are the components that help control your appetite, give your tummy that feeling of satiated fullness and even work to keep your blood glucose within a normal range.
A well-balanced meal each morning curbs those food cravings boosts your willpower and provides you with the energy that the day is going to demand.
When the holidays have arrived this is an ideal time to choose your breakfast foods wisely. Be creative. Be imaginative. Whip up a healthy, low-calorie omelet that is bursting with nutritional value and decadent flavors.
Combine egg whites with chopped green onions, wilted spinach leaves, diced tomatoes, chopped carrots, smoked salmon and a dash of fresh ginger. Top your omelet with some toasted pine nuts for a crunchier texture.
This dish is filling, yet it does not contain an abundance of, sugars and calories. Just the type of breakfast you need during those hectic holidays.
If you are in a hurry, you can enjoy a quick breakfast on the go. Add fresh fruit to a cup of yogurt. Mix in a handful of raspberries, blueberries or strawberries and bump up the nutritional benefits of the yogurt.
Add granola if you prefer more “crunch” with your morning meal. These are foods that give you a burst of energy and strengthen your inner resolve so that you can readily refuse those sugary holiday treats that others are offering.
A breakfast wrap is another delicious way to begin each day. Just fill a large leaf of Romaine lettuce with some diced, grilled chicken. Add tofu, Greek yogurt, a few spices, and some chopped apple.
Roll the lettuce leaf around these ingredients and you have a healthy, delicious breakfast wrap that will keep you from indulging in those gooey, calorie-packed, holiday treats that everyone else will be eating.
The holiday seasons always include parties and small get-togethers where rich, heavy foods are the stars of the show. Instead of just filling your plate with large servings of each available food choice you should concentrate on sampling those selections that you know are going to be lighter and healthier.
A slice of turkey or chicken and some raw veggie appetizers will satisfy your appetite and keep you from splurging. Take the time to chew your veggies properly. Carrots, celery, and green leafy veggies should be the main elements on your plate.
Whole grain salads, reduced-fat dips, and fresh fruits are other healthy choices that allow you to participate in the festivities while remaining true to your diet.
When a particular dish, or dessert, is too tempting to resist you should eat one or two small bites so that you can enjoy the taste. A mouthful of chocolate cake is not going to be enough to make you gain 5 pounds.
This “nibbling” is a good rule to indulge in occasionally, but remember to pace yourself accordingly. Do not sneak back for “seconds and thirds” at the dessert table.
Instead of cocktails, beer and wine you should content yourself with water or unsweetened tea. Add a squeeze of fresh citrus to brighten the taste. These beverages will help you feel full while you mingle with your family, co-workers, neighbors, and friends.
Snacks are another important element that must be included in your diet. If you snack on fresh fruit, berries, nuts or crunchy dried fruit slices, you will give your willpower a much-needed boost. You can also enjoy a snack before you arrive at a big holiday gathering.
Indulge in a treat before you leave home. Choose a healthy treat such as a fruit smoothie with protein powder; rice cakes; a small box of raisins; a handful of granola or a bowl of berries before you leave home.
This snack will help you keep your food cravings under control when you are surrounded by tables that are stacked high with tempting holiday dishes.
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Anita is a nutrition expert with a Master's in Nutrition and Dietetics. Founder and CEO of Comprehensive Medical Nutrition Solutions, a nutrition and health education consulting firm.