Saturday, November 12, 2011

Eat Healthy & Stay Healthy During the Holidays

Did you know that the average holiday meal consists of no less than 3,000 - 3,500 calories? That may sound crazy, but if you think about how families and friends interact during the holiday season, it seems that everyone is always in the kitchen! Here are a few ways to eat healthier, make better decisions about what you put in your body, and stay on your fitness or weight loss goals during the season.

Watch Your Portions! Load your plate up with vegetables and lean turkey. Eat less of the high calorie foods like casseroles, breads and desserts. A serving is typically the size of a deck of cards or your iPhone. Also try putting your appetizers on a plate to see what you are eating, instead of continually grazing by the table.

Select real, fresh foods. Cranberries are full of antioxidants, but the canned kind are packed with sugar and calories. Sweet potatoes have a lot of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber, and you can add flavor such as cinnamon or nutmeg. Desserts made of baked apples or poached pears can be lighter options than typical desserts with candied nuts and chocolate. And don't forget the pumpkin – pumpkin is a low-fat, low-calorie food with potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C.

Make a lower-carb stuffing by using more veggies like onions and celery, or even dried fruits. Use less bread and skip the sausage and butter. You can also add extra nutrients by choosing whole grain breads.

Space out your helpings. Take smaller portions and always remember you can have more the next day. Holidays are about spending time with friends and family, so make a conscious effort to take a break between bites and enjoy the conversation.

Start the holiday off by walking or running in a Turkey Trot race or just meeting some family members for a bit of holiday exercise. Try getting your metabolism elevated for the day by taking a walk outside or playing a game of flag football a few hours after the holiday feast.