A Healthy New Year

Northwestern Medicine
Health and Wellness December 26, 2012
 Adults toasting during a mealAs another holiday weekend approaches and New Year's celebrations are planned, unhealthy temptations will be abundant. While the holidays are wonderful time for celebration with family and friends, the festive season also brings many indulgences and an amplified risk for weight gain. It can feel like one, long food fest that inevitably ends in extra pounds.

With a little planning and strategy, you can stick with your pre-holiday healthy lifestyle goals and ring in the New Year a little lighter. Here are a few party preparations to follow:

• Never go to a party on an empty stomach. Before you hit the road, fill up on a healthy, low-calorie, high fiber and protein-rich snack such as Greek yogurt with a few berries and slivered almonds or a low-calorie, high fiber oatmeal. This will help you practice better self control later.

• Enlist reinforcements. Find a friend who is also watching his/her calories and stick together.

• Go in with a game plan. Identify one or two splurges ahead of time.

• Swap high calorie ingredients for lower calorie ones -use low-fat cheese, sour cream, mayo or greek yogurt instead of the full fat versions.

• Bring a lower calorie appetizer to the party so that you you know you will have at least one healthy option to enjoy.

• Load up on fruits and vegetables.

• Use a small plate and fill it just once.

• Try and stand away from the food table.

• Occupy one hand with a calorie-free drink.

• It’s okay to say no to second helpings.

• Pour responsibility and drink moderately. Alcoholic beverages not only have empty calories but they also lower willpower. Limit your intake and make sure you stay hydrated with calorie-free, non-alcoholic beverages.

For more healthy holiday tips, contact the health education team at 312.926.LINK.

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