Healthy Eating This Holiday Season
We here at Carmel Cosmetic & Plastic Surgeons know that one of the best things about the holidays is all that delicious food. However, we also know one of the worst things about the holidays is all that delicious food! This time of year, one of the great challenges is how to navigate being around loads of delicious foods while staying healthy. Our blog today focuses on how to eat healthy or at least healthier this holiday season.
It’s easy to get swept up in the joyous hustle and bustle of the holidays. Unfortunately, the feasts and parties that mark it can put a strain on the waistline. By eating just 200 extra calories a day — a piece of pecan pie and a cup of eggnog here, a couple of chocolates and some butter cookies there — you could gain two to three pounds over the five- to six-week period that marks the holiday season. That may not sound like that much, but few of us shed that extra weight in the following months and years.
According to Harvard Health, you don’t need to deprive yourself, eat only boring foods, or take your treats with a side order of guilt. Instead, by practicing a bit of defensive eating and cooking, you can come through the holidays without making “go on a diet” one of your New Year’s resolutions. These 12 tips can help you get through this holiday season a bit healthier.
- Budget wisely. Don’t eat everything at feasts and parties. Be choosy and spend calories judiciously on the foods you love.
- Take 10 before taking seconds. It takes a few minutes for your stomach’s “I’m getting full” signal to get to your brain. After finishing your first helping, take a 10-minute break. Make conversation. Drink some water. Then recheck your appetite. You might realize you are full or want only a small portion of seconds.
- Distance helps. At a party, don’t stand next to the food table. That makes it harder to mindlessly reach for food as you talk. If you know you are prone to recreational eating, pop a mint or a stick of gum so you won’t keep reaching for the chips.
- Don’t go out with an empty tank. Before setting out for a party, eat something so you don’t arrive famished. Excellent pre-party snacks combine complex carbohydrates with protein and unsaturated fat, like apple slices with peanut butter or a slice of turkey and cheese on whole-wheat pita bread.
- Drink to your health. A glass of eggnog can set you back 500 calories; wine, beer, and mixed drinks range from 150 to 225 calories. If you drink alcohol, have a glass of water or juice-flavored seltzer in between drinks.
- Avoid alcohol on an empty stomach. Alcohol increases your appetite and diminishes your ability to control what you eat.
- Put on your dancing (or walking) shoes. Dancing is a great way to work off some holiday calories. If you are at a family gathering, suggest a walk before the feast or even between dinner and dessert.
- Make room for veggies. At meals and parties, don’t ignore fruits and vegetables. They make great snacks and even better side or main dishes — unless they’re slathered with creamy sauces or butter.
- Be buffet savvy. At a buffet, wander ’round the food table before putting anything on your plate. By checking out all of your options, you might be less inclined to pile on items one after another.
- Don’t shop hungry. Eat before you go shopping so the scent of Cinnabons or caramel corn doesn’t tempt you to gobble treats you don’t need.
- Cook from (and for) the heart. To show family and friends that you reallycare about them, be creative with recipes that use less butter, cream, lard, vegetable shortening, and other ingredients rich in saturated fats. Prepare turkey or fish instead of red meat.
- Pay attention to what really matters. Although food is an integral part of the holidays, put the focus on family and friends, laughter and cheer. If balance and moderation are your usual guides, it’s okay to indulge or overeat once in a while.
If you really want to treat yourself this holiday season, skip the holiday cakes and cookies and look to have a surgical or non-surgical procedure done to boost your self-confidnece and look great in your party dress! Contact us to schedule a consultation. Carmel Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeons provides a supportive environment in which you can feel at ease to discuss your goals. Our physicians, Dr. Elizabeth Grasee and Dr. Debra Bergman will educate you on your chosen procedure, evaluate your case, and help you decide the best course of action to achieve your desired outcome. We are committed to guiding you towards a solution that aligns with your personal preferences.