Welcome to MultiCare's E-Health Connect Chat. We will get started in a couple of minutes.
Today the topic is creating a Holiday Survival Guide. How to survive the holidays without a hangover, heartburn and having to buy new pants.
Our guest today is Claire Kjeld, Registered Dietitian with MultiCare's Center for Healthy Living.
Hi everybody! Thanks for having me today as your guest!
Claire, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Sure, I am a food and fitness lover and enjoy helping people attain their wellness goals.
Tell us a little about your credentials.
I am a Registered Dietitian with my master's degree in nutrition and I specialize in sports nutrition and weight management.
Ok, lets get started. The holidays are a time of family, love and... let's face it, stress and, unfortunately a typical stress reliever is food and alcohol. What tips can you provide to make it through?
I'll categorize by saying check in with yourself and your emotions, get a game plan, and be realistic.
Tell me a little bit more these categories and what they mean.
Starting with checking in with yourself and your emotions: when you find yourself turning to food even when you're not hungry, take a step back and ask: "What am I feeling?" Are you stressed, anxious, exhausted? Then ask "What do I need? Do you need help with holiday preparations? Do you need a break from the family? Finally ask " Would you please?" Reach out to others and get them to pitch in and help.
So, the next category was developing a game plan. What exactly does that mean?
So, I'll start with my favorite quote than can be a little bold: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. When it comes to holiday eating, there are so many temptations that it's near impossible to be healthy. Plan ahead for what food you're going to prepare and stear a little more toward healthy options.
I'm not saying to cut out the mashed potatoes and gravy and sausage stuffing. I'm suggesting to look up some good alternative recipes for these. You may have a great healthy cookbook that has healthy stuffing alternatives or lower fat gravy...if not, go online and look up some recipes that are healthier. I use Cooking Light a lot and really love the results of everything I've cooked from their books and website.
Other simple suggestions would be to reduce the liquid calories; whether it's alcohol, egg nog, or punch. It's pretty remarkable how quick the calories escalate when we just watch how much we're drinking. Switch it up and drink more water (sparkling or flavored), tea, or cider. If your highlight of the holidays is the food, don't use up all your calories on beverages.
You've heard this one before: use smaller plates and glasses. It sounds silly but it's so true that when you use smaller plates and cups, you really do eat less.
What advice can you give to the holiday dieter that does over do it on Christmas Day?
I'll start with don't beat yourself up. Christmas is a great day for many reasons, including the amazing food that's all around. I'll be the last person to say you should "eat perfect" on Christmas. One day of overeating certainly will not make you gain wait. It's what you do consistently over time that matters. If you overdo the eating every day of your Christmas holiday, weight gain will likely follow.
If you get down on yourself, how is that going to help you continue on your weight loss journey? It likely won't help much. How will positive thinking help? It will very likely help you a lot more than negative. Your chances of continuing on with your lifestyle changes are so much greater. Look back on your day of overeating and focus on the positives of the day. Hopefully you enjoyed yourself in other respects!
What easy, family focused activities would you suggest doing during the holidays? With inclement weather and being out of your "home base," staying in your workout rhythm can be difficult.
Visit a local rec center or YMCA that offers day passes where you could access any of their facilities from weight lifting to swimming to racquetball or a zumba class.
Another great idea is to bring your Nintendo Wii or X-Box Kinect that have boxing or dancing or yoga etc. on it. Create a tournament with you friends or family. Make it fun!
If you do a bunch of shopping, take advantage of the natural track of the mall and do an extra loop.
What about some tips for surviving holiday parties?
Don't go to your holiday parties hungry! Remember the last time when you went to a buffet or party hungry? Did you overdo it? Eat a good size snack or small meal before you go so you can more easily make healthier choices.
Also, station yourself away from the food. If you're standing right next to the spinach dip and chips, you're more likely to be eating quite a bit of that vs. stationing yourself across the room. I
Say I am planning a holiday potluck and I want it to have a healthy theme. What tips can I provide my guests while they are planning their contributing dishes?
Let your guests know the theme of the party and provide recipes that you've alreay chosen for them to make. If you want to let guests choose what to bring, assign a category so you don't end up with a bunch of the same type of thing.
Are there any final tips you can provide for us today?
Be realistic around the holidays and allow for the occasional sweet or treat. Aim for weight maintenance rather than weight loss.
Try to take the long view and be an outcome thinker, then make choices that support your desired outcomes.
If you enjoy the festivities in moderation, you can eat, drink and still be merry in the morning.
Claire can provide nutritional counseling, body fat testing, metabolic testing and sports specific counseling and testing.
Thank you so much, Claire, for participating today.
Thanks for having me!
The next E-Health Connect Chat is January 26 at 12pm and the topic is New Year, New You.