Healthy For Life - Blog Roll
We understand that it can be difficult to enjoy holiday dinners when you’re following a diet or working with weight management programs. The entire season is filled with temptation, so it’s good to arm yourself with a strategy for getting through Christmas parties without overdoing it at dinner. The last thing you want to do is derail all the great results you’ve experienced with your weight loss efforts.
Here are some great tips from our nutrition counseling center that will help you stay on track with a diet that’s healthy for life during the Christmas season.
1. Load up on water. Hydration is essential for success with diets and weight management programs. Drinking water flushes toxins from your body and re-hydrates. Plus, it fills up your stomach so you’re less hungry overall. Have a glass of water before you sit down to eat and drink another during your meal to fill up your stomach so you don’t overeat.
2. Exercise portion control. It can be very tempting to load up your plate with everything at the spread. Instead, start by using a smaller plate, and fill half of it with healthy for life, fiber-rich vegetables. Squeeze only your favorites on the other side of the plate. Don’t indulge in the dishes that you’re neutral about—save your splurges for the holiday treats that you actually look forward to every year.
3. Don’t skip meals. Never arrive hungry to a big holiday dinner. Often times, people try to “save calories” all day, as if their stomachs were a bank. This will only result in overeating both when the appetizer tray comes around and then when you do finally sit down to eat. Eat a healthy breakfast in the morning and snack all day on filling foods such as soup, nuts and fiber-rich fruits and veggies.
Click here to learn more about the services offered at our nutrition counseling center.
Let’s face it—none of us want to look like the jolly guy in the red suit, but on average, Americans still gain between eight and ten pounds during the holiday season. We can blame it on all the parties, holiday meals and stress, but then again, we know that this all comes around each year during this time. If you’re a member of our weight management center and have experienced great weight loss results for the last few months, there’s no reason to lose momentum now, or worse, set yourself back.
Whether you’ve been using nutrition counseling or diet aids to beat your battle of the bulge, having strategies in place will help you get through the holidays without tipping the scale. Try a few from the list below, and email the staff at our weight management center to let us know how they worked for you.
1. Keep a reverse log. Remember how helpful keeping a log of all your meals can be to the process? Try a reverse meal diary this time of year so you can plan your indulgences wisely. This way, you can nip some of those poor decisions in the bud. Mark the days that you have parties, holiday meals or special events planned, and plan a healthy breakfast, lunch and snacks for those days. Then you can plan healthy eating for the days around those “cheat days” as well. This way, you can avoid throwing off an entire day’s meals and plan for success on the days you won’t be indulging.
2. Hydrate. When you’re trying to lose weight, drinking enough water is critical. It flushes out the toxins and helps fill us up. Plan to drink extra water this time of year, and alternate libations with glasses of water at special events.
3. Focus on veggie consumption. As you know from working with our nutrition counseling staff, eating lots of vegetables is very important. We need the nutrients for our health and the fiber to fill us up. At parties and big meals, fill at least half of your plate with veggies and eat them first so they satiate your hunger—just be sure to avoid fat-laden creamy sauces and dips. Or if the event has a buffet table, hit the veggies first so you can curb some of those hunger pangs before hitting some of the more fattening offerings.
The holidays are in full effect, which translates into a lot of exposure to calorie, carb and sugar-laden temptations that are not so healthy for life. However, there are some foods in season right now that taste delicious, yield an array of nutritional benefits and won’t make you tip the scale. Read on for a list of five good-for-you holiday foods that won’t destroy your weight loss efforts.
- 1. Nuts. Our nutrition counseling center recommends nuts as an excellent source of healthy omega 3 fatty acids and satisfying fiber. Choices such as almonds, cashews, walnuts and pecans are antioxidant-rich and their fiber content helps stave off hunger.
- Apple cider. Apple cider boasts high levels of phytonutrients, naturally occurring plant chemicals with anti-inflammatory properties that combat free radicals. Studies show that those found in apple cider help prevent declines in memory and cognition. Plus, one eight ounce serving has less than 120 calories and will help curb a sweet tooth. It’s a great alternative to the more fattening choices, such as hot chocolate or eggnog.
- Sweet potatoes. Tasty and filling, sweet potatoes are loaded with nutrients we need to be healthy for life. They are excellent sources of vitamins C, D and B6, as well as betacarotene, which converts to vitamin A in are systems. In addition, sweet potatoes contain iron and magnesium. Make sure to keep the added sugar and butter to a minimum.
- Chestnuts. These seasonal favorites pack healthy fat and fiber. Warm them up and have a handful to curb your hunger—but keep it to just that that, as they are a high calorie nut.
- Cranberry sauce. This traditional side dish is refreshing and helpful for preventing urinary tract infections. Our nutrition counseling center gives cranberries the thumbs up because of their high content of vitamins C, E and K, as well as fiber, manganese and a large array of phytonutrients.
No matter how much willpower you have, the holiday season can be a challenge. With all the sugar-laden treats, holiday libations and countless parties and events to attend, it’s easy to throw caution to the wind and fall off track from all your weight loss management plans. Unfortunately, we pay as soon as we step on the scale after the New Year.
Instead of gifting yourself with excess pounds this year, there are a few things you can do to stave off that weight gain. Read on for some tips from our savvy nutrition counseling staff.
1. Weigh yourself regularly. While we don’t recommend obsessing over what the scale says, if you stick to a regular schedule for weighing yourself, you’ll be able to hang on to the weight loss management reins a little easier. Try for every other day or a minimum of twice a week.
2. Start your day right. Work out in the morning. It will rev your metabolism for the entire day and studies show that exercising in the morning can help motivate better behavior all day long.
3. Choose wisely. Only choose treats that are your favorites—don’t indulge just for the sake of it. Do a once-over of the buffet before you grab a plate, so you can zone in on which treats you really want to indulge in and select some healthy options to fill three quarters of your plate with.
4. Don’t bank calories. Many people who come in for nutrition counseling talk about “saving up” calories by skipping meals. This is a big mistake! When you do this, chances are you will completely overeat when you do sit down to a meal. Even when you have a party or holiday meal scheduled for the night, make sure to have a healthy, protein-rich breakfast, lunch and snacks to rev your metabolism and so you won’t be starving when dinner rolls around.
If you’re working towards weight loss and better health through nutrition, it’s important to avoid fattening comfort foods and instead seek healthy, low-calorie and low carb alternatives. Below are four types of foods that our weight management center recommends incorporating into your diet, especially this time of year, because of their awesome nutritional benefits.
1. Winter squash. Any of the types of winter squash available this time of year, from acorn and butternut to delicata and spaghetti squash, are all nutritional powerhouses that make excellent choices for your winter meals. With only 80 calories per one cup serving, winter squash yields high quantities of both vitamins A and C, as well as potassium, folate, and vitamins K and B6—making it an ideal choice when you’re striving for better health through nutrition.
2. Dark leafy greens. Dark leafy greens are essential for a healthy diet and tend to thrive in the winter, unlike most other produce. Spinach, kale, chard, escarole, collard and mustard greens are all excellent choices as they are rich in vitamins A, C and K. Escarole, collards and mustard greens and are also good sources of folate.
3. Pomegranates. Pomegranates are extremely antioxidant-rich, making them loaded with the power to combat free radical damage. Recent studies show that drinking just a cup of pomegranate juice per day may help prevent free radicals from oxidizing “bad” LDL cholesterol, which contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries. Other studies show that pomegranates improve blood flow, making them an excellent for heart health.
4. Citrus. Our weight management center always recommends increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables when you’re trying to lose weight, but many people forget about fruit during winter months. Strive to including lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit, which are all at their juiciest during colder months and are excellent for boosting immunity due to their high content of vitamin C. Citrus is also a good source of flavonoids that help boost HDL aka “good” cholesterol and lowering triglycerides.