Posted on Dec. 17, 2012 (
Try to make healthy choices, but don't obsess about food during the holidays. Use your mental energy to focus on the reason for the season and truly enjoy friends and family. And, when you need a little help staying on track, try these 10 tips to keep your holidays healthy, provided by MultiCare Health System dietitian Lisa Lovejoy.
1. Be a picky eater. Don't waste calories on foods you can get all year. Save holiday calories for holiday treats!
2. Bring a healthy treat to the party. You will know that there will be at least one healthy item available, and others will appreciate this as well.
3. Limit alcohol. Alcohol provides plenty of empty calories, reduces willpower, and increases food consumption, especially of fatty, salty items.
4. Drink up - water, that is. Staying hydrated helps you feel and look better, plus it helps fill your stomach so you will feel more full.
5. Don't skip meals. Breakfast (which helps control caloric intake all day) and the pre-party meal (arriving at the party hungry is a recipe for diet disaster) are especially important.
6. Move away from the food. Having to walk across the party will make you think twice about seconds and reduce mindless eating.
7. Indulge - but just a little. Take only a handful of your favorite treat. Be mindful of your eating, and truly savor the treat.
8. Exercise regularly. Exercise and physical activity burn calories, give a sense of control, increase endorphins ("feel-good hormones"), and provide a mental break.
9. Use your head. Mentally prepare and plan your eating strategy, especially on event days and as you enter each party.
10. Have a minty mouth. Nothing tastes good after a strong mint, so pop one in your mouth when you are done eating. Fresh breath is an added bonus! This trick also works to help you resist snaking while baking or cleaning up after your party.