The Holiday season brings so much joy and happiness to so many people, but with the joyous celebrations often come high-calorie, sugar-loaded foods and beverages which often lead to the infamous Holiday Weight Gain! Have no fear! I have some great and simple nutrition tips to help you avoid gaining weight throughout the Holiday season while still enjoying the foods and family you love!
This week's Nutrition Tip: Top Tips to Maintain, Don't Gain over the Holidays
Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, my first five tips will focus on how to stay on track during the celebration of this wonderful Holiday. Of all the days in the year, Thanksgiving is one holiday that revolves around food more than any other. But, we need to remember that this day is about so much more than food. It’s about spending quality time with family and friends, counting our blessings, and finding ways to give back to others.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite Holidays and I truly love spending time with family and enjoying our favorite traditional recipes, but it is all too easy to overindulge on casseroles and pumpkin pie.
These simple tips, however, will help you stay on track through Thanksgiving and well into the rest of the Holidays.
Tip #1 - Start the day with a hearty, balanced breakfast full of clean carbohydrates (like fruit and oatmeal), lean protein (like eggs and Greek yogurt), and a healthy fat (like avocado and nut butter). A balanced breakfast will help fill you up and reduce the amount of calories that you will eat later in the day. Please do not try to “save your calories” for Thanksgiving dinner as you will most definitely over-indulge and consume way more calories than you need!
Tip #2 – Move more! Before you focus on the food, get out and move! Whether it’s a going for a run on the treadmill, taking a long walk outside, weight lifting, or hopping on a spin bike, burning calories earlier on in the day before the main meal will give you a little calorie buffer and help to maintain your weight.
Tip #3- Have a small snack before the main meal, this way you will not be starving before the food is served or eat too many appetizers before the main meal. Aim for a light snack of protein, fiber, and healthy fat (like almonds or a rice cake with nut butter) that is between 100-200 calories and will fill you up just enough to hold you over.
Tip #4 – Control Portions! This tip is huge as it applies to not only the Holidays, but portion control is a critical tool for weight maintenance. Not sure what an appropriate serving looks like? Luckily your portion control is literally in the palm of your hand! Protein = size of your palm, grains & fruit & vegetables = size of you cupped palm, and healthy fat = size of the tip of your thumb!
Tip #5 – Bring your own healthy option! This tip is especially important when it comes to bringing an appetizer or side dish to a gathering. Making a healthy appetizer that you know is made with wholesome ingredients will enable you to enjoy the social hour before the food is served without over-doing it before the main meal. Not sure what healthy appetizer to make for your Thanksgiving party? Check out my Green Goddess Deviled Eggs recipe for a healthier version of deviled eggs, made with avocado for extra heart-healthy fat and fiber, without the excess calories and saturated fat in the tradition recipe!
I hope these simple tips will be helpful for you during the Thanksgiving celebrations tomorrow! Stay tuned for tips 6-10 which will be featured in the next week or so!
Have a wonderful day and a very Happy Thanksgiving!