The holidays, whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or New Years, tends to bring an excess of treats, sweets, and feasting for families across the globe. While it may seem impossible to avoid weight gain during the holidays, there are specific tips that cancer survivors and health-conscious individuals can follow. The average American gains anywhere from one to two pounds during the holiday season and has difficulty losing that weight the following year, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reported.
As such, moderation when it comes to feasting during December is vital. One solution is to avoid skipping meals before going to Christmas dinner or that work holiday party. Breakfast is an important meal to keep, as it prevents you from overeating throughout the rest of the day. Be sure to include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet as well.
While family meals during this time of year may be larger than a typical dinner, we do see healthy options such as turkey, sweet potatoes, and roasted veggies. However, moderation is key. Even when the options may be relatively healthy, certain things like mashed potatoes can still be full of calories and pack on the pounds. To keep from gaining excess weight, sticking to smaller, moderate portions is a necessity at your family dinner, the the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends. Using smaller plates for dinner may be helpful as well.
Before diving into more savory and calorie-filled foods, it would be beneficial to start with salad and vegetables. This would fill you up faster and prevent you from overeating. If you’re the one making the family dinner or adding a side dish to a potluck, there are certain steps you can take to make your meal healthier as well. For example, if you’re baking a turkey, instead of using traditional stuffing, you can cut out excess calories by including wild rice pilaf instead. Also, instead of including heavy sauces or butter, you can rely on lemon juice, olive oil and various spices. If baking rolls, rely on whole-grain ingredients instead of the typical crescent rolls with butter.
Additionally, going on a walk or partaking in some physical activity after a holiday meal can help you keep fit and healthy. If you follow these tips, you can make it through the holiday season healthy and happy!