Everyone needs holiday but no one wants holiday pounds. You can
control your eating during the holidays. What you need is just a
bit of planning and effort.
"Follow the smart diet," suggested Dr. Santiago Horgan, director
of the Center for the Treatment of Obesity at the University of
California, San Diego, Medical Center, according to HealthDay News
"Eat the calories you want but not the ones you don't need.
Avoid unhealthy snacking. Think ahead and choose where you are
going to consume your calories. For example, if you have a big
holiday meal planned, decided ahead of time where you want to
consume your calories," Horgan said in a prepared statement.
Besides, here are more tips:
1. Try to find low saturated fat, low sodium recipes for
traditional holiday foods (such as eggnog or stuffing) or modify
the recipe to make it low in saturated fat or sodium. You may want
to make two versions (a healthy version and a traditional version)
to give people a choice. If attending a party, offer to bring a low
saturated fat/low sodium item.
2. Make sure to include a good portion of low calorie
vegetables in your meals (dark green leafy vegetables, green beans,
broccoli, asparagus, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers). Be
aware of starchy vegetables this time of year (corn, peas, winter
squashes, sweet potatoes and white potatoes) which have about
triple the calories of all other vegetables.
3. Keep in mind that the holidays are most
importantly about friends and family. This may help you put food in
a better perspective. At parties, socialize away from the food
table and focus on conversation.
4. Eat something before the party. Arriving ravenous at a
party is a recipe for disaster. Don't even look at the buffet. You
know it will feature calorie-packed, seam-splitting foods. Turn
your focus to visiting with friends and family.
5. Eat before you go on shopping trips to avoid fast foods
at the food courts at the mall or pack healthy snacks to munch when
hungry while out.
6. Recognize when you're full. "It takes a good 20 minutes before
your stomach signals you brain that it's full, so eat slowly, and
the second you start feeling satisfied, stop eating,"
7. Walk after dinner. You can burn calories and speed up
your digestion by moving a little after your meal. This is also a
great time to spend with family or someone who supports what you're
8. Get a positive support group. A support
group is not a bunch of people hanging around the tree talking
about how much they want a chocolate sundae, but surround yourself
with people who are pushing hard for better health.
(Xinhua New Agency December 25, 2006)