The Holiday Stuffing

Preparing for the deluge of holiday delights?  Here are some tips to help you stay healthy over this winter break.

Preparing for the deluge of holiday delights? Here are some tips to help you stay healthy over this winter break.

by Eleanor Shaw, Chief Photographer

It’s the holidays. Sure, they only come around once a year but they stay with us until we start our treks back to the treadmills for the summer.
It’s a simple fact that during this period of festivities, there is a lot of chowing down. Thanksgiving is near the tail-end of November, which doesn’t give us a lot of time to digest our food before Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, and the other important family celebrations in-between. In order to stop that postprandial guilt, and (more importantly) to keep your weight healthy and nutritious, consider these following five tips from our expert at The Glen Echo.
1. Stop Temptation
You can’t help but sneak a cookie from the cookie jar every now and then. But by controlling the amount of ‘tempting’ foods you eat, you can go to your holiday parties and feel better about stuffing yourself at the dessert table. To be able to do this, though, try to avoid any restaurants or places that have ‘tempting’ and unhealthy foods. You can also ask whoever does the grocery shopping to buy healthier snacks, like fruits and vegetables.

2. Use the One-a-Day Method
You do not have to completely eliminate all the chips, cookies, and etc. from your diet. You can use the one-a-day method and allow yourself to have one serving of chips, or pastries, (or otherwise) each day. When you are at a party, standing by the dessert table, wondering whether to eat the strawberries or the cake, just ask yourself — is this my one-a-day?

3. Don’t Leave the House Starving
Parties are normally in the evening. So you know you have a lot of time to prepare yourself. You obviously take a shower and get dressed-up and do all sorts of things to get your outer appearance looking fabulous. The only thing you don’t normally do is have a small, healthy snack before you leave. But you should. This way, you won’t wolf down a whole platter by yourself: that would likely make you sick! Have a serving of your favorite fruit, fat-free or low-fat yogurt, or a whole-grain granola bar will do the trick. But of course, don’t let us limit your imagination!

4. Say No Politely
You’re already so full. There is no possible way of fitting anymore food in your stomach, but Grandma Betsy is telling you that you have to eat more of her famous apple pie. So she shoves more on your plate and waits for you to take a bite. What do you do? As politely as you can, say no. For example, you can say: “No thank you. I’ve had a lot to eat. Everything was delicious. I especially enjoyed your apple pudding!” You’ll find that saying no really pays off.

5. Socialize
Don’t stand around the food table when you are at a party. You’re not there for the food. You’re there to celebrate the holidays with your friends and family. Focus on making conversations rather than on the calorie-high foods. Conversations are calorie-free!

Remember, the holidays are a time of celebration. Celebrate! There’s a lot of good food that come with all this celebrating and you should definitely enjoy it and be social. But also try to strategize an effective way to stay healthy and active over this holiday season! Happy Holidays!