With the holiday season upon us, it is a good time to not only reflect on the year being brought to a close but also the new one that lies ahead! Because this time of year is traditionally known for indulgent foods in great abundance, staying on track with your health and wellness goals can certainly be a struggle.
Below is a list of my favorite tips to help not only navigate the holidays better but also offer some simple strategies for staying in tune with your wellness vision going into 2019:
- Plan ahead: eat a high-protein breakfast, such as protein-packed oatmeal, a Greek-yogurt parfait w/ fresh fruit or a veggie omelet. For pre-festivity snacks, try fruits and vegetables to help keep things light. Often times, trying to “save up” calories can backfire and lead to over-eating.
- To make monitoring your portion sizes a ‘no-brainer’, use a small plate to make less look like more and only eat from it, not a platter or package.
- Instead of salty snacks, which can encourage you to eat and drink more, choose fresh crunchy vegetables and a serving of low-calorie dip or salsa. Veggies are packed with fiber and also can help keep you hydrated while filling you up.
- Try to limit hanging out near the food. Find a comfortable spot across the room, and focus on people instead of eating. You will be less likely to nibble and more likely to keep your calories in check.
- Options can be overwhelming. Choose the foods you really want and keep the portions small. Make it a balancing act. Perhaps skip an ‘everyday’ side item, such as corn and go for something seasonal.
- Watch for “liquid calories.” Classic eggnog has 500 calories per 8 oz. glass and that’s even with foregoing the alcohol. The average can of beer or soda, 150 calories. Hard liquor contains upwards of 150 calories per 1.5 oz. and wine contributes 80 calories per half cup.
- Eat slowly and chew thoroughly. You’ll be amazed how much will-power you can generate when you take your time and give your “satiety center” an opportunity to tell you that you are becoming full. Savor the tastes and textures of the wonderful foods offered this time of year.
- Get moving. Take an afternoon walk instead of that afternoon nap! Make moderate exercise a part of your holiday routine. Not only does it help burn off extra calories, but also tones muscle and can help alleviate that holiday stress! If looking to manage blood sugar, it can be particularly helpful after consuming a meal.
Spritz up the Holidays!
Spritzers come in many forms and are perfect to have with any special occasion. Typically comprised of wine diluted with some type flavored and/or carbonated water, now, anything goes and the combinations are endless. Try this non-alcoholic option to not only keep calories minimized but also to ensure everyone, including the kids, can enjoy the holiday season with a fun, fizzy beverage!
Makes: 3-4 servings
– 1 liter Hy-Vee Key Lime Water Cooler
– 6 oz. POM pomegranate juice
– Pomegranate arils (seeds)
Mix together in a pitcher and serve over ice. Add arils for garnish. Enjoy!
Nutrition facts (per 12 oz.): 38 calories, 0g fat, 0mg sodium, 10g carb, 0g fiber, 0g protein
The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.
Kylene Frost, RD, LD
Topeka Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian
2951 SW Wanamaker Rd.
Topeka, KS 66614