Healthy Eating Habits During the Holidays

We have officially entered the holiday season, with Thanksgiving and Christmas just right around the corner. While the holidays are great for having fun and celebrating with our families and friends, these celebrations are often centered around food. According to consumerreports.org, more than 75% of people’s yearly weight gain occurs during the holidays.

Here are some tips that can help you and your family be a little healthier during the holidays:

Watch your portions. A good rule of thumb for meat on your dinner plate is about 3 oz. or the size of a deck of cards. For the sides, try to keep your vegetable portions around the size of a baseball or softball, and any grains around half the size of a baseball.

Smart substitutions. The American Heart Association’s “Holiday Healthy Eating Guide” suggests “smart substitutions” when it comes to baking and cooking, such as using whole-wheat flour instead of white, using low-fat or skim milk instead of heavy cream, or using vegetable oils or soft margarine to replace butter.

Go for a walk before you sit down. Before your family sits down to the dinner table, go for a walk, play some football or basketball in the yard, or load up and head to a local gym or community center. Not only will this help you keep everyone entertained, but it will help you burn a few calories too!

Choose the lighter meat. Lighter meats have fewer calories and less fat. You can also cut a few more calories by removing any skin from the meat you eat.

Less is More. Instead of having one full serving of each delicious dessert in the kitchen, take small samples of your favorites or even share your full serving with someone else. This way, you can still indulge in the tasty sweets without going overboard.

Even if you just incorporate a few of these tips into your holiday celebrations, you are still making several small, positive changes that could become healthy habits throughout the New Year.

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