Let your fitness, weight loss and health survive the holidays

Lee’s Summit fitness friends don’t let the holidays be an excuse to waiver on your fitness, weight loss and health goals.  Here are some tips from Molly Wichman IFBB Fitness Pro on surviving the holidays.

Tips to help you and your waistline survive the holidays?

The holiday season is a time to celebrate with family and friends. Unfortunately, for many it also becomes a time for over-eating and weight gain. According to the National Institutes of Health, holiday eating can result in an extra pound or two every year. Over a lifetime, holiday weight gain can really add up. Following a few simple tips can help you and your waistline survive the holidays.

Holiday Parties

1. Limit to one-a-day

While you can’t control every situation, you can control how much food goes into your mouth. If you are constantly bombarded with holiday parties and displays of desserts or candies you can still effectively help prevent overeating and weight gain. One way is the one-a-day method. Allow yourself one small serving of a cookie or piece of candy each day during the holiday season. Remember that you may have to compensate for it later in the day by reducing your total caloric intake or by burning a few extra calories while exercising. If you aren’t confronted with holiday foods that day, just skip your one-a-day – but don’t compensate and double-up on your serving the next day.

2. Always plan ahead – Never go to a party hungry

Before you go to a holiday party, eat a healthy snack such as a serving of your favorite fruit, fat-free yogurt or a low-fat, whole grain granola bar. When you arrive at the party, you won’t be craving hors d’oeuvres.

If you’re going to a potluck dinner, bring a healthy dish to share such as a salad, veggie or fruit tray. This will ensure at least one healthy dish.

3. Be in charge of your party choices:

  • Small plate, please
    Be wise when choosing appetizers – a small portion of some appetizers may help you from overeating at dinner.
    Pick up a small plate, and stick with vegetables, but limit or avoid the heavy dips
  • Restrict your intake of crackers, chips, cheese. If you must have a deep-fried appetizer, eat only one small serving. Never go back for seconds. For dinner, fill half of your plate with salad and vegetables, then a healthy protein and carb/bread.
  • Avoid the sauce
    Avoid sauces made from cream or meat drippings. For salads, use oil and vinegar, vinaigrette or low-fat dressings..
  • Finish it off light
    The best low-calorie choices are fruit, Jell-O, pudding, an unfrosted mini muffin, shortbread cookies, ginger snaps or angel food cake. If you must have a dessert with frosting, butter cream, cream cheese, or chocolate chips, limit yourself to one small cookie or one thin slice of cake.
  • Watch the drinks
    Try to restrict your alcohol to one or two servings. Holiday punches; eggnog and holiday spirits are filled with hidden calories. Try a light beer or wine or calorie-free drinks such as water, unsweetened ice tea, hot tea or coffee.

4. Say No Politely

Many times you feel forced to eat foods because people keep putting it in front of you. Learn to say no politely, such as “No thank you, I’ve had enough. Everything was delicious”, or “I couldn’t eat another bite. Everything tasted wonderful”. You’ll find saying no isn’t so hard to do after all.

5. Focus on socializing

Healthy up your recipes

Practice Healthy Holiday Cooking. Preparing favorite dishes lower in fat and calories will help promote healthy holiday eating. Incorporate some of these simple-cooking tips in traditional holiday recipes to make them healthier.

  • Gravy — Refrigerate the gravy to harden fat. Skim the fat off. This will save a whopping 56 gm of fat per cup.

 

  • Dressing — Use a little less bread and add more onions, garlic, celery, and vegetables. Add fruits such as cranberries or apples. Moisten or flavor with low fat low sodium chicken or vegetable broth and applesauce.

 

  • Turkey – Enjoy delicious, roasted turkey breast without the skin and save 11 grams of saturated fat per 3 oz serving.

 

  • Green Bean Casserole — Cook fresh green beans with chucks of potatoes instead of cream soup. Top with almonds instead of fried onion rings.

 

  • Mashed Potato — Use skim milk, chicken broth, garlic or garlic powder, and Parmesan cheese instead of whole milk and butter.

 

  • Quick Holiday Nog — Four bananas, 1-1/2 cups skim milk or soymilk, 1-1/2 cups plain nonfat yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon rum extract, and ground nutmeg. Blend all ingredients except nutmeg. Puree until smooth. Top with nutmeg.

 

  • Desserts — Make a crustless pumpkin pie. Substitute two egg whites for each whole egg in baked recipes. Replace heavy cream with evaporated skim milk in cheesecakes and cream pies. Top cakes with fresh fruit, fruit sauce, or a sprinkle of powdered sugar instead of fattening frosting.

 

(See Healthier Holiday Meals-Substitutions Guide)

Remember, the holidays are meant to celebrate good times with family and friends. Enjoy the holidays and plan effective strategies to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Achieving what you sought out for will give you one more good reason for holiday cheer! Happy Holidays! Resist temptation.

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