Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nutrition Tips for the Holidays

The holiday season is officially upon us and it is more important than ever to pay attention to your nutrition. You don't have to put on that 5 or 10 pounds this year!!! 
  1. Be realistic about the "Holiday Season"- Holiday eating can start as early as Halloween and end at the Super Bowl. That is 3 full months of treats and parties!
Halloween- If you must indulge in candy, have a few pieces of your favorite treats. Don't keep indulging for three days on a few pieces "here and there".

Thanksgiving & Christmas Dinner- This is one meal, not a week long holiday. Eat what you want during that meal, have your favorite dessert and that’s it.
  1. Don't "save calories" or skip meals to save up for the party or dinner that night. If you skip eating during the day, your body will want to make up for it in the evening (increased feeding drives), making it much harder to make the right food choices at the party or social event.
  1. Always eat breakfast, especially before working out in the morning! This is no old wives tale; eating breakfast not only increases your metabolic rate by 10% for the day, but also gives you the energy you need to have a great workout.

  1. Try to eat small meals throughout the day in order to maintain a nice even blood sugar level. This helps cut down on cravings for carbs and sugar, especially when they're lurking around every corner during the holidays!

  1. Check out Cooking Light and look for holiday recipes that are low in fat and sugar. Make your holiday a healthy one without sacrificing the fun. Many recipes can be modified with lower calorie substitutions such as light margarine instead of butter and Splenda instead of sugar.

  1. Be aware of what you're eating; "unconscious eating" happens a lot during the holidays simply because there are more treats around. If you are baking, don't keep anything extra in the house AFTER the party; send extras home with guests.

  1. If you want a treat, have it! Just make sure it's worth it! Don't knock out a few great workouts with some treat that wasn't even that good! Choose treats that will leave no regrets. 
  1. Alcohol is loaded with empty calories and sugar. For instance, a typical serving of wine is 3.5 ounces and has 85 calories. Restaurants typically serve 6 ounces per glass, which equates to 170 or MORE additional calories per glass of wine. Mixed drinks are loaded with calories and sugar. To try and cut down on calories, try flavored alcohols such as vodka coupled with soda water or diet.

  1. Get in a few extra cardio sessions to balance out the extra holiday food! Any extra cardio session you do will make a difference.

  1. If you overdue it, don't punish yourself. Simply get your next meal back on track and move on.

  1. Get your body composition checked before the holidays. Having the body fat information in the back of your mind can help curb the desire to give in and go for it!

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