Adding Moderation and Balance to Your Holiday Diet
Now is the
time of year when just the thought of celebrating the holiday with
family and friends seems to add inches to the waistline. But, the
American Dietetic Association (ADA) says "Celebrate!" Believe it or
not, any foods — including traditional holiday treats — can
be incorporated into a healthful eating plan. It's all about moderation
and balance, according to the ADA.
"Nutrition and You: Trends 2000" survey reveals that many Americans
identify with the fear of having to give up their favorite foods as a
major obstacle to healthful eating. But whether you are watching a
football game, shopping or meeting friends at a party, you should enjoy
foods this holiday season, ADA says.
ADA offers the following tips on how to do so without putting on the extra pounds:
Don't try to lose weight during the holidays — this could be a
self-defeating goal. Strive to maintain your weight by balancing party
eating with other meals.
lower-calorie meals during the day so you can enjoy cebration foods
without overdoing your calorie intake for the day," says spokesperson
Tammy Baker, a Phoenix-based registered dietitian.
Be active and keep moving. Walk the mall, go ice skating with your family or plan a party that involves fitness, like bowling, skiing or hiking.
Take the edge off your hunger before a party.
Eat a small, low-fat snack before you head out the door to help you
avoid rushing to the buffet table when you arrive at a party. And take
the time to greet the people you know when you get there —
conversation is calorie-free. Get a beverage and settle into the
festivities before eating. Try sparkling water with a lime twist
— sparkling water doesn't supply calories, unlike wine, champagne
or a mixed drink.
Make only one trip to the party buffet. And be selective!
the foods you really want to eat and keep portions small. Often a taste
satisfies a craving or curiosity," says Baker.
And, try to do your socializing away from the buffet table to eliminate any unconscious nibbling.
Choose lower-calorie party foods.
Raw vegetables and a small amount of dip is a good choice. Try broiled
shrimp or scallops with cocktail sauce or lemon; take it easy on the
fried appetizers. If you want to ensure there are healthful treats at
the party, bring the veggie or fruit platter yourself.
Enjoying a sit-down dinner party? Make your first helping small. If your host or hostess expects you to take seconds, the total amount will be about the same as a normal-size portion.
important thing about holiday eating is to forget the all-or-nothing
mindset," Baker says. "Depriving yourself of special holiday foods, or
feeling guilty when you do enjoy them, isn't part of a healthy eating
strategy, and it's certainly not part of the holiday spirit!"