How to eat healthy for the holidays
It’s that time of year again when we get to spend lots of quality time with family and friends. Most of this quality time involves eating and drinking at many social gatherings. On average, Americans gain one to two pounds during the holidays. This may not seem like a lot of weight, however, many times these extra pounds are not lost and weight increases year after year. Those extra pounds can contribute to overweight or obesity later in life. Nevertheless, nobody wants to miss out on all the fun, just because you are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are ways to enjoy the holiday season without back tracking on your health goals.
The first thing to keep in mind during the holidays is that trying to lose weight is not the best idea. The goal during this time is to maintain your weight. Also, even though it can be hectic, try to squeeze in some exercise whenever possible. Even fifteen minutes of physical activity. One way to get some exercise in is by going to the mall instead of shopping online. Although, many of us like the convenience of shopping on line now, going to the mall will help burn calories. Every hour you shop you can burn up to 100 calories depending on how fast you walk. Furthermore, holiday gatherings can really test one’s willpower. There are ways to enjoy events without losing track of your health goals.
Here are a few pointers to stay on track while still enjoying holiday parties. First, don’t ever skip meals throughout the day, this may result in overeating. Secondly, always eat a snack before you leave home for a holiday get together. Eat foods that are high in fiber, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains. High fiber foods are more filling, but lower in calories. Once you get to the party, you won’t be starving; making it less likely that you overeat. Third, check out the entire buffet and make a plan on what you’d like to eat before placing anything on your plate. Always choose vegetables and salad first before going to the entrees. Also, choose foods that are simply prepared versus foods that have sauces or are fried. Additionally, only make one trip to the buffet table.
Lastly, during the holidays it can be easy to go way overboard on sugar intake. According to the Journal of American Medical Association published in 2014; individuals who consume too much added sugar could increase their risk of cardiovascular disease. Specifically, individuals who got 17 to 21 percent of calories from sugar had a 38 percent high risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared to those who consumed 8 percent of their calories from sugar.
Here are a few desserts that you want to stay away from: Caramel Apple 28 grams of sugar, Egg Nog 20 grams, Peppermint Bark 19 grams, Bread Pudding 60 grams, Tiramisu 30 grams. Some alternatives to the high sugar desserts are fruit, tea, coffee, and parfait. Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the food and your friends and family.
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