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Jumping Over Holiday Hurdles

It’s fair to say that next week will be full of family, friends, relaxation, and last but not least, food. The overeating side of us will be out in full force ready to savor each lasting bite of Thanksgiving dinner.

This Thanksgiving, let’s start a new tradition: not overeating. And how on earth do you do this? It’s easy, and you are not eliminating any of your favorite holiday foods.

Patty Kirk, RD, LD, Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian offers these tips on how to avoid holiday hurdles:

Party Control:

  1. Don’t arrive too hungry. Make a healthy snack before you go to holiday parties.
  2. Bring produce. If you are tasked with bringing an appetizer or side dish, provide something healthy such as grilled vegetables.
  3. Mix and mingle. Chat with family and friends for at least 15 minutes before heading to the buffet. It’s not a race to eat, so put it off.
  4. Scope out the buffet. Make sure you know what you want and don’t want on your plate before you fill it up.
  5. Steer clear of the food. Before or after your meal, mingle with others away from the buffet. This way you won’t be tempted to grab snacks every few minutes.
  6. Eat only what you love. In Patty’s words, “Trust me, if you don’t love the food, the second bite won’t taste any better than the first.”
  7. Fill a smaller plate. Don’t feel obligated to stack food onto a large dinner plate.
  8. Eat slow. Savor each bite as well as time with family. Again, it’s not a race.
  9. Beware of the bar. Cutting out the special holiday drinks will eliminate loads of extra calories.
  10. Don’t waste calories. With foods you can eat all year round, don’t waste the calories. For example, skip the roll this year.

Now that the holiday is over, it’s time to start back into your healthy routine.

Damage Control:

  1. Track what you eat weekly. It’s always a good idea to know what you are consuming.
  2. Bounce back. Start your normal routine as soon as possible.
  3. Lose the leftovers. Send them home with family and friends. Remember, it’s not the one Thanksgiving meal that is nutritionally harmful, it’s making the meal last for days and weeks.
  4. Keep it at three. Only eat three meals a day, no more and no less.
  5. Exercise. That’s a no-brainer.
  6. Cut back on the portions. Don’t think you have to eat every meal like it’s a holiday. Eat what you love, just less of it.

Now that you are ready to combat the holiday temptations, come prepared with healthier choices. Kathy Duran-Thal, R.D., Director of Nutrition for Cooper Wellness has delicious and healthy meals perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Bacon Wrapped Apricots with Jalapeno

Kathy’s Tapanade

Cran-Appleberry Sauce

Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Lighter Libby’s Pumpkin Pie

Hot cinnamon Mulling Spiced Beverage

For more information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, visit our website or call 972.560.2655.

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