Going home for the holidays?  That means lots of food, parties, and family time.   Like many others, my family’s traditions are centered on food.  When the holidays are over, it takes me while to get back to a normal routine, especially when it comes to eating.  Here are a few ways I plan to stay focused on health and wellness to prevent that post-holiday slump.

  1. Set realistic expectations - Now is not the best time to try to lose weight.  Instead, focus on maintaining weight.  Our diets will not be perfect over the holidays, and that is ok!
  2. Keep a consistent routine – This means eating at least 3 meals and 2 snacks and incorporating at least 30 minutes of physical activity into the day.  This will keep blood sugar stable and prevent overeating at holiday parties.
  3. Eat a balanced diet – Even at family potlucks; make sure to get ½ plate vegetables.  Balance that out with a small portion of carbohydrates, like mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese.  Chose lean meats, like turkey instead of ham.
  4. Think about your drink – Sticking with water could save at least 250-300 calories!  Wouldn’t you rather eat your favorite foods than drink a soda?
  5. Get moving - With all the food and a busy schedule, it can be difficult to stay active.  Physical activity not only burns off that second helping of food, but it’s a great way to get away and relieve some stress.
  6. Focus on the favorites - Limiting foods that aren’t favorites can save on calories, cholesterol, and fat but still includes our favorite must have dishes.

If you’re involved in preparing the holiday meal, consider making a few of these swaps.

Traditional Thanksgiving Meal

Healthier Version

Turkey with skin-185 mg Turkey without skin-90 mg cholesterol
Green bean casserole-470 mg sodium Seasoned green beans-36 mg sodium
Sweet potato casserole-240 calories Sweet potato with brown sugar and cinnamon-155 calories
Pecan pie with ice cream-600 calories Vanilla ice cream-170 calories

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