Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Eating Tips from LifeBridge Health

By Jamie Strauss, R.D, L.D.N.
Clinical Dietitian, Food and Nutrition Services
Sinai Hospital

Will I survive the holiday eating? We often ask ourselves this question. In the back of our mind, we know that between Halloween and New Year's Day the average person gains 1 to 2 pounds. With busier schedules during the holidays, we often give in to comfort food cravings and to pressures from loved ones saying, “C’mon, eat some more!”

But just because we are surrounded by comfort foods and family does not mean that we have to give in to the cravings and pressures to overeat. All we should do is be mindful of what and how much we are eating. And enjoy the holiday season!

Here are 10 healthy eating tips that can help with the holidays:
  • Do not go to a gathering hungry. Eat as usual throughout the day so that you will be satisfied with smaller portions without overeating.
  • Offer to bring a low-calorie dish to an event. You will know there will be at least one “safe” item available.
  • When you are at a gathering, stand far away from the buffet so you are not tempted to nibble continuously.
  • Wherever you are, indulge in conversation. Conversation is calorie-free!
  • Eat something before going to an event with alcohol. The effects of alcohol are often felt more quickly on an empty stomach and may lead to overeating.
  • Try drinking one glass of water before each glass of an alcoholic beverage.
  • Eat slowly! It takes 20 minutes for the brain to signal to the stomach that it is satisfied.
  • Begin the meal with a salad and use a low-calorie dressing on the side.
  • Prepare side dishes with fresh herbs and sodium-free seasoning.
  • Use all fruit and light spreads rather than butter, cream, and gravy.
  • Choose to bake meats rather than fry.

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