Don't Let the Holidays Wreak Havoc on Your Waistline

Northwestern Medicine
Health and Wellness December 16, 2011

The holiday season can present a host of demands and temptations due to parties, family gatherings, shopping and entertaining. While unhealthy habits this time of year may seem inevitable, Hannah El-Amin, registered dietician from the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine says there are simple strategies to help you stay on track so you can enjoy the holiday season without the worry of weight gain.

“Between busy schedules and an overabundance of snacks and treats, it can be difficult to stay focused,” says El-Amin. “It is possible however to give a little without gaining a lot.”

El-Amin suggests the following tips for maintaining good nutrition this season.

  • Plan ahead by eating a healthy snack or light meal before attending holiday parties and be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to curb your appetite.
  • Don’t skip meals because this will actually set your hunger into overdrive and by the time you eat, extra hunger will make you more likely to overindulge.
  • Control your portions by eating until you’re satisfied, not stuffed.
  • Swap out fattening ingredients with lower-calorie options, or offer to make a dish to share that uses fresh, healthy ingredients.
  • Stay active by taking a walk with your family and friends after a large meal, playing a game of football or building a snowman with the kids.

“The key to enjoying the holidays in a healthy way is moderation,” added El-Amin. “Allow yourself to enjoy and indulge a little while still striving to make nutritious choices.”

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