Healthy holiday hacks: 5 tips to eat healthy this holiday season

The holidays are a joyous time of year filled with family gatherings, annual traditions, and let’s not forget the fabulous food!! I myself get excited every time the holidays roll around each year. 

Another less fortunate trend of the holiday season is found in expanding waistlines. The Calorie Control Council estimates the average holiday meal has 3,000 calories, and this is without even including the additional calories consumed in appetizers and drinks. On average Americans experience 1 to 2 pounds of uninvited weight gain during the holidays. That amount may seem pretty insignificant but when you have an extra pound or two creeping on each year and compounding year after year, before you know it you’re ten pounds heavier and can no longer fit into your favorite pair of jeans.

Not to worry, this week’s post will give you a few simple tips to keep you on track with your healthy eating during the holidays and still allow you to enjoy a little pie.

Holiday tip # 1 Don’t skip breakfast

I myself have been guilty of skipping breakfast on Thanksgiving in the past. I used to think that since I knew I would be eating a large feast later in the day I should skip my food intake in the morning. What can actually happen when we skip or miss meals though, is we end up overeating later on. Research even shows that people who eat breakfast actually eat fewer calories throughout the day. Therefore an easy way to reduce the amount of calories you eat at Thanksgiving is by making sure you include breakfast. It truly is important and can set the tone for your whole day. Eating breakfast has also been found to be a common denominator of people who have been able to successfully maintain their weight loss.

Holiday tip # 2 Downsize the carbs

Holiday feasts are usually full of carbs galore with everything from mashed potatoes, dressing, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, bread rolls, and macaroni and cheese to name a few. No wonder it’s easy to overdo it in the carbs department. Carbohydrates are not bad, it’s just when we eat them in excess that things become problematic. Aim to limit your portion of carbs and starches to just 1/4 of your plate. This will help you to get a more balanced meal and allow more room on your plate for non starchy vegetables. Try adding some of these tasty veggie dishes to your holiday spread:

Thanksgiving Salad

Holiday tip # 3 Include activity in your family celebration

To help balance out some of the extra calories you’re bound to consume during the holiday season, make an effort to do something active the day of your family get together. You can try going for a morning hike, playing an afternoon game of football, or even have a dance battle on Nintendo Wii. The most important thing is to find a physical activity that you and your family can enjoy together.

Holiday tip # 4 Take leftovers to go

Remember that there are always ample leftovers at Thanksgiving. Keep in mind that you don’t have to have heaping portions, or even a bite of every dish the day of. Stick to modest portion sizes knowing that you can have more at a later meal or even later on in the week.

Holiday tip # 5 Be mindful of your portions

Portions have drastically increased over the years which has contributed to the obesity epidemic in the United States. Cut back on your portions to lower your overall calorie intake. Even a small sliver of pie can satisfy your craving for holiday sweets. Eat slowly and savor your bites so that you can enjoy the fall flavors of your meal. Choosing a smaller plate can also help you keep your portions in check.

Hopefully these 5 tips for healthy eating during the holidays help you to finish your holiday guilt free and thankful for finding the right balance in the most indulgent meal of the year.

Royally yours,

The Diet Duchess

Welcome Blog Post

 

I remember how it was for me before I got my nutrition degree, there were so many different sources of diet information, it was difficult to decipher what was valid and who to trust. There are constantly new fad diets and different weight loss products hitting the market promising miraculous weight loss and health benefits, but it can be extremely difficult knowing what’s true and where to invest your money.

When I was still doing my general education courses in college, I tried the maple syrup diet master cleanse where you literally have no food to eat and only drink this concoction of maple syrup, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and water. Isn’t it amazing the crazy things we will do in the name of weight loss? Suffice it to say, I wasn’t able to do this for a very long period of time despite my best efforts and it definitely didn’t help me to eat any healthier. If anything I think it was harmful to my relationship with food (along with other dieting approaches) with the yo-yoing back and forth between restriction and indulgence.  

As you can see from my personal story, I have been just where you are, desperate to try any diet or miracle supplement that will help you to lose weight. Don’t beat yourself up. Some of the promises and results of  the many different fad diets and weight loss products can be enticing. The US weight loss market is a 66 billion dollar industry, and I personally have invested money into different products over the years, but with no long term success or practical understanding of how to eat healthy.

Various research articles have shown that one of the common trends of fad dieting is the weight regain afterwards. Fad diets are usually too good to be true. Think of it this way, if the new diet you’re planning on trying is offering a quick fix or is cutting out major food groups, it’s not likely going to be something that you can maintain long term. Your success therefore, will be short lived.

If you are ready to let go of temporary solutions to your lifelong goal of healthy eating and weight management, then follow my blog, The Diet Duchess, each week for a new nutrition topic to help you better understand how to gradually modify your eating behaviors and build your way towards a healthier lifestyle. I am excited to share my passion and professional expertise with you to help you achieve your diet and weight loss goals. Stay tuned as we begin our journey together to “royally rock your diet”.

Estrella, MS, Registered Dietitian

“The Diet Duchess”  

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