Are you looking to stay on track with healthy eating this holiday season? Maintaining your healthy eating habits may seem impossible from Thanksgiving through New Year’s. Gatherings with family and friends, work and school parties and other social events are often focused around the traditional holiday foods. This holiday season, plan in advance to choose healthier foods, maintain your weight, and feel better about yourself this holiday season!
– Take a healthy dish to parties– bring a dish you know is healthy such as a fruit or vegetable- based dish. Incorporate whole grains such whole-wheat bread or pasta, brown rice, or quinoa into recipes. Make your classic holiday dishes more healthful by substituting plain Greek yogurt for mayonnaise or sour cream or incorporate in baked goods, dips, sauces, and cream-based dishes. Substitute applesauce for butter, margarine or shortening in recipes.
– Get active– make it priority to get some exercise on days you know are going to be eating more than usual. Take a morning walk, jog, or head to the gym before your holiday festivities kick off. If weather permit take a mid-day walk to burn off some of those extra calories.
– Plan your plate! Follow the Healthy Eating Plate model at your meals. Focus on making half of your plate non-starchy vegetables (green) and fruit. One-fourth of the plate should be a healthy starch or whole grain food (brown) and one-fourth a healthy protein (orange). As always, water is the beverage of choice. Limit high calorie beverages such as eggnog, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened drinks. For more information on the Healthy Eating Plate see below or visit http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/harvard-to-usda-check-out-the-healthy-eating-plate-201109143344.