All Set To Put on Some New Holiday Weight?….Well You Don’t Have To…
We all know one thing seems inevitable every holiday season: weight gain. To help you get through the holidays in a more positive way, Elizabeth DeRobertis, an expert New York nutritionist addresses the topic of weight management and dieting over the holidays.
Here are DeRobertis’
10 valuable tips for enjoying the holidays and avoiding weight gain
1. Don’t arrive at parties hungry. It’s important to eat at regular times throughout the day before attending your event. Eating small frequent meals helps keep you feel satisfied and makes you less likely to give in to temptations. Even if you have the best intentions of staying on track, if you get to a party hungry, all bets are off!
2. Bring a healthy dish – a starter to help fill up on lower calorie foods, such a crudité platter with low fat dip, salad or fruit platter and a healthy dessert such as angel food cake with berries. This way there is something there that you can give yourself permission to eat more of, as a way to eat less of other foods.
3. Eat your food in the order of lowest to highest calories. Start your meal by eating the salad and vegetables and drinking a glass of water. Next, move on to the lean protein, such as roasted chicken, turkey or fish and then eat a smaller portion of the starch (or even try to skip it!). By the time dessert comes you may even say “no thank you”.
4. Make active family plans rather than sitting and eating. Holidays are intended to be social gatherings with family and friends not eating frenzies. Plan activities like visiting the local pumpkin patch or apple orchard or volunteering at a food bank. You can even plan a hike before or after dinner. The more calories you can burn the better.
5. Modify recipes to make them healthier. You don’t have to give up traditional favorites just modify them. If you are the cook, substitute high fat ingredients with lower fat or fat free ingredients such as:
a. 2 egg whites instead of 1 whole egg
b. Low fat plain yogurt or low fat sour cream instead of regular sour cream
c. Skim milk instead of whole milk
d. 1:1 ratio of flour whisked into non-fat milk instead of heavy cream
e. Chilled evaporated skim milk or other non-fat whipped products instead of regular whipped cream
f. Light butter instead of regular butter
g. Low fat or fat free cream soups instead of regular
6. Use all the days in between the holidays to be extra careful to balance it out. Even if you are not able to stay away from the pumpkin pie and potatoes on the holiday, be sure to stay on track on the days in between, as this is the best way to balance out a few higher calorie days. Be sure to get in your exercise – -and even ramp it up a bit to tip the scale in your direction.
7. Don’t turn a one day holiday into a week of leftovers. After the holiday is over pack up the leftovers and offer to neighbors, coworkers and friends, especially cakes and pies. If you have healthy options left over, such as lean protein and vegetables divide them into pre-portioned meals and freeze for a quick lunch or dinner. And try not to be left in the kitchen alone cleaning up, or packing up leftovers. Many people overeat at the end of the night, once dinner is over, and when the guests are gone. Recruit help to clean the dishes, pack up the left overs, and leave yourself with a safe food environment!
8. Choose lower calorie drinks. Beverages, especially alcoholic beverages, can be packed with calories. Choose zero calorie drinks such as unsweetened iced tea, seltzer, water, coffee or hot tea. If you would like an alcoholic beverage, opt for a wine spritzer, light beer, or cocktail made with a zero calorie mixer.
9. Slow down when eating. It typically takes 20 minutes to signal the brain that you have had enough food. Savor each bite by eating slowly and allow yourself to feel full. Skip second helpings by getting up from the table or putting your napkin on your plate to signal to others you are finished. By putting your fork down between bites, chewing more, and enjoying your company, you will find that a slower pace of eating will likely result in less calories consumed.
10. If the meal is buffet style, use a version of the plate method, which is to choose a smaller plate if available, such as a salad plate and fill up ¾ of your plate with the healthier foods that you see, and ¼ of your plate with anything you like. If you are going to go back for seconds only choose the healthier options like turkey, fish, chicken, salad, vegetables and fruit as your second helping.
Elizabeth and three nutritionists recently introduced a revolutionary new product, HungerShield, an all-natural drink mix designed to curb hunger, which is essential during the holiday season. Drinking HungerShield on your way to a holiday gathering can help to save you hundreds of calories, so you don’t arrive starving. HungerShield is an innovative appetite control drink mix. It is the only product on the market designed specifically to curb appetite through a unique blend of high quality and natural ingredients, including protein, fiber and probiotics. It is also the only product in this category that was created by healthcare professionals. It can work with any diet plan. For more information about HungerShield, a list of locations where it is sold, or to purchase it online, please visit www.hungershield.com. You can follow HungerShield on Twitter@HungerShield and on Facebook.