Eat, Drink and Be Healthy
Eat Drink and Be Healthy
By Alex Hobbs, RD, LD, CLT
Holy turkey….it is already November! I love this time of year; the few trees in Dallas attempt to start changing colors, Black Friday commercials start airing to spark everyone’s inner gladiator and Turkey Day is a quick countdown away! Believe it or not, the holidays are here! From now until December 31st, we are encouraged to “eat, drink, and be merry” and then starting January 1st resolutions are being established to lose 10 pounds as fast as possible. Before we all get swept up in this major contradiction, lets focus on the here and now. Just because the holidays are here, it does not mean you have to blow your diet. The holiday season should be one that is spent with good friends and family, not counting calories and logging your food intake. However, just because you might not be as strict during the holidays as you are before buying your spring break bikini, it is important to keep moderation in mind. A realistic goal for yourself during these two final jolly months of 2013 is to maintain your weight. Lets get real here, there is absolutely no way weight loss is at its peak during this time of year (thanks to every Betty Crocker-wannabe baking like cookies are going out of style!) With that said, approach the holidays this year without a sense of defeat before they even start. You should be able to attend any holiday party without fear of “over-doing it.” By making some smart decisions and by planning ahead, you should be able to maintain your weight during this season of over-indulgence and thanksgiving!
Quick tips to prevent you from feeling like a stuffed turkey!
- Goal: Make the holidays about the friends and family you are with, not the food! So step away from the pumpkin cheesecake and go socialize!
- Get the family moving!
Keep off your holiday love handles by spending family time being physically active. Family bike rides, walks, mini-football games are all great ideas to get outside and get moving. Want a challenge? Sign up the whole family for the Turkey Trot to get your metabolism revved up for Thanksgiving dinner. Don’t like temperatures under 65 degrees? Start mall walking – exercise + window-shopping sounds pretty nice to me!
- Bring a ‘safe’ dish
When going to a party or get-together, ask the hostess if you could help by bringing a dish. You can make a lighter dish, which you know will be more diet friendly than the fat-packed mashed potatoes and stuffing. Check out CookingLight.com for recipe ideas.
- Starve not!
Never go to a party (or meal) starving! You are setting yourself up for over-eating and feeling horribly. Have a snack before heading to a party so you aren’t taking out your hunger on the cheese plate! An apple with PB or an open faced sandwich are smart ideas for a pre-party snack.
- Beware of the Booze!
Easy on the cocktails and beers, these empty calories can add up quicker than you can knock ‘em back! Choose a lighter beer such as Michelob Ultra and enjoy an ice-cold brewski for only 95 calories. Prefer the hard stuff? Choose a low calorie mixer such as diet club soda or light juices. Get creative and try some of the zero calorie drink mixes like Crystal Light or Mio.
Keep yourself in check by stepping on the scale at least once a week. If you see your weight starting to creep up, you know you need to add a little more exercise and a little less brownies!
This is the most wonderful time of the year, so live it up! Go look at Christmas lights, go ice skating or see a ballet. Enjoy the season and what it brings instead of being fixated on your diet and weight! You will never regret the time spent with friends and family so go give thanks for all that you have!