The Holiday season has come and so have the delicious meals and desserts that are hard to resist. Enjoy holiday foods with friends and family the healthy way. ChicagoHealers.com Practitioner Dr. Kristina L Sargent DC, MS-ACP offers a few tips to curb the appetites and holiday binges.
1. Eat normally throughout the day – Skipping meals causes increases in cortisol, the stress hormone which contributes to belly fat and breaks down muscle tissue. It will also cause you to overeat later in the day. You really won’t save any calories that way.
2. Look for the green – In other words, look for the vegetables at a party first. Fill up on that first, and then find some protein. If you are still interested in the “fun food” you won’t eat as much.
3. Watch portion sizes – If you decide to indulge, you can have a small portion and save tons of calories. Think moderation. A small piece of pie, a small serving of potatoes, you won’t feel deprived, and most importantly, you won’t overdo it either.
4. Use a smaller plate – For buffet dinners – use a 9” or salad plate for the entree. Fill up on salad, and then use the smaller plate for the entree too.
5. Choose beer or wine –Both are around 100 calories on average. Mixed drinks and alcoholic punches can pack over 500 calories or more.
6. Take your time eating – Parties tend to rack up calories because we aren’t really paying attention to what we are eating. In reality parties are all about the people, the food is a bonus. Focus on the people instead of the food.
7. Bring the Veggie Tray – Even a full-fat dip and vegetables is better than a lot of the appetizers you could be eating.
8. Aim to Maintain – You don’t have to lose through the holidays but let’s not put on the “Seasonal Seven.”
9. Avoid fast food – By having snacks with you, you can avoid eating fast food when hungry. Head to the grocery store and pack the refrigerator with pre-cut vegetables that can be eaten with pre-portioned hummus or apples and peanut butter are a quick snack that is portable. Always have a portion controlled snack-sized bag of nuts in the car, 20 almonds and a bottle of water will hold you until the next meal without all the added fat and unhealthy additives of the fast-food choices.
10. Go for a walk – Park your car as far from the door as possible. Burn a few more calories – it won’t kill you to walk.