MARKET MINUTE! Healthy Holiday Eating

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Healthy Holiday Eating

How about making a New Year’s resolution before the New Year? Resolve to maintain your weight during the holiday season, since the average American gains five to ten pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. But how can you maintain your weight surrounded by your favorite high-calorie goodies and holiday drinks? Read on for some tips on how not to become a statistic.

  • Don’t try to diet. Your goal should be to maintain your current weight, not reduce it.

  • Instead of cutting out high-calorie favorite holiday dishes, take a small portion of each and load up on healthier options like vegetables, fruits and breads.

  • Don’t attend a cocktail party on an empty stomach. The effects of alcohol are felt much more quickly and can lead to overeating and overdrinking. If you do drink alcohol, try to drink one glass of water before each glass of an alcoholic beverage.

  • Center activity around non-food events such as renting a holiday movie, enjoy a drive through neighborhoods that dress up with theme lights, serving in your local charity, or singing carols.

  • Offer to bring a favorite low-calorie dish to holiday parties, so you know there will be at least one "safe" item available.

  • Continue your regular exercise program right through the holidays. It's the key to maintaining good health and alleviating holiday stress.

The University of Michigan Health System gives these tips to help survive a holiday party:

  • Stick to appetizers that help you meet the recommended food pyramid guideline of five or more servings of vegetables and fruits a day, such as crudités and antipasto.

  • Choose the high-fiber selections on the buffet. Besides fruit and vegetables, choose hors d'oeuvres that contain whole grains and/or legumes.

  • Limit high fat choices, such as fried chicken wings, miniature sausages, and most cheeses.

Try these holiday meal preparation tips from Fabulous Foods.com:

  • Limit the amount of butter or margarine you use to sauté your vegetables. Use chicken or turkey broth for additional moisture.

  • Use a rack in roasting pan so the fat drips off.

  • Halve the amount of sugar in your recipes, using brown sugar instead of white. You’ll never know the difference.

  • Use a larger amount of spices than the recipe suggests.

  • Sprinkle hot vegetables with dill for flavor instead of butter.

  • Don't skip meals before the big meal that day. You'll be too hungry and may overeat. Treat it as a regular day.

  • Begin the meal with a low-fat soup or salad. You'll eat less during dinner.

We hope you are enjoying the warmth of the holidays!