Can you remember back in January after stepping on
the scale, that you wished you hadnít had that last piece of pie, the
extra gravy, or that cup of eggnog? You were not alone! Studies show
that the average American gains one to two pounds during the holiday
season. Although that may not seem like a lot, each year adds up and can
contribute to a lot of excess weight. But that doesnít mean that it will
happen to you!
Follow these simple tips for healthy holiday eating and come January,
perhaps the only wish youíll have is that you have a sweetheart on
1. Donít attempt to lose weight. Set a more realistic goal to maintain
2. Donít skip meals because you ďknow youíll make up for it laterĒ. This
way of thinking only leads to overeating later.
3. Start your day with a healthy breakfast that includes whole grains,
fruit, dairy, and protein foods like eggs or peanut butter.
4. Try small snacks throughout the day in order to save most of your
calories for the main meal and to avoid eating too much.
5. If youíre working, try bringing healthy snacks to work to avoid being
tempted by the holiday treats, but allow yourself to try a small amount
of your favorite foods because you donít want to feel deprived,
6. At meals, try a small amount of foods you enjoy and fill the rest of
your plate with lower calorie foods such as fruit, vegetables, and
7. Try planning ahead! You can prepare several quick, healthy meals,
which can be reheated.
8. If you know whatís on the menu in advance, visualize what you will
eat before you go, so you can enjoy your friends and family and not
worry about making the wrong food choice!
9. Always eat something before you drink alcohol because drinking on an
empty stomach can lead to overeating and overdrinking.
10. For potlucks, bring your favorite low-calorie dish, so at least
youíll have one healthy dish.
11. Donít forget to exercise! Even though itís a busy time of year, the
importance of maintaining your exercise regimen is central to
maintaining your pre-holiday figure!!!
Try these healthy substitutions below when preparing your favorite
holiday dish and feel good about yourself this holiday season!
Take off the skin when you eat it. Choose white meat instead of
Use skim milk instead of whole milk or cream. Use a little olive
oil or low fat margarine instead of butter. Try using a variety
of potatoes with skins for extra fiber.
Use sugar substitute instead of sugar.
Use whole grain breads instead of white bread. Use low sodium
chicken broth instead of butter.
Use sugar substitute; use low fat margarine instead of butter;
avoid marshmallows. Use cinnamon, a little orange juice or
unsweetened applesauce to add flavor.
Use sugar substitute and add more cinnamon and spices. Use
evaporated skim milk instead of regular. Use egg whites instead
of eggs. Use gingersnaps as crust. Avoid whipped cream, or use
fat free whipped cream.
Add extra cinnamon and spices for flavoring. Use sugar
substitute. Add a few chopped nuts and crushed high fiber cereal
to add more fiber.
Use fat free or low fat version. Try soy eggnog. Try making your
own with bananas, skim milk, ice, nutmeg, cinnamon and rum
Source: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's
Guide to Holiday Eating