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Tis’ the Holiday Season!

Halloween picture

Tis’ the Holiday Season!

By: Jenny Lobb

From Halloween to New Year’s Day, the holiday season is a busy time that is full of parties and gatherings. It is also a time of year when sweets and treats seem to be everywhere, all the time! As a result, the average American gains a pound during the holidays each year. This may not seem like much, but it adds up when not burned off. Here are a few tips to maintain, not gain, this holiday season:

At Work:

  • Take healthy snacks with you so that you’ll be less tempted to fill up on the cookies and candy that your co-workers bring in.
  • Pack a healthy lunch each day, and bypass the breakroom as necessary to avoid the temptation of holiday sweets.
  • Beware of holiday beverages, coffee drinks included. Some fancy coffee drinks have more calories and fat than a full-size candy bar!

At a Party:

  • Have a healthy snack before you leave home/work so you don’t fill up on unhealthy food when you arrive.
  • Check out everything that is available to eat before filling up your plate, then sample only the items that you want to try most.
  • Use napkins or dessert plates instead of normal size plates to help keep your portion sizes small.
  • Keep MyPlate in mind and try to fill at least half your plate with fruits and veggies.
  • Move away from the food once you fill up your plate so you won’t be as tempted to graze throughout the party. Focus instead on socializing with friends or family, or keep your hands busy by helping the host.
  • Don’t forget that alcoholic beverages also have calories, and they can add up quickly if you’re not careful!
  • Try to drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverages, and choose water over sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, lemonade or punch.

If you happen to be the one hosting the party, here are a few additional tips that your health conscious guests will appreciate:

  • Offer a colorful variety of fruits and veggies.
  • Use plain, non-fat yogurt as the base for dips, dressings or spreads instead of sour cream or mayonnaise.
  • Buy small-size plates or cups to help your guests with portion control
  • Serve bite-size desserts, or don’t serve dessert at all!
  • Serve fruit-infused water by adding cucumber, mint, lemon, lime or orange slices to a pitcher of plain water.
  • If you are serving beverages other than water, offer club soda or seltzer water so that guests can enjoy a fizzy beverage without added sugar or calories.

Lastly, do your best to stay active, get plenty of rest, and give yourself grace when things get hectic and healthy habits are hard to maintain. Tis the season for holiday cheer, after all!