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5 tips for eating healthy during the holidays

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eating_healthy_during_the_holidays.JPGBy Alicia Beltran

The holidays are upon us, and that means plenty of delicious temptations just begging to add calories to your diet. But you can keep yourself healthy and avoid post-holiday guilt by using these tips this holiday season.

Focus on portion size
Portion control can make a big difference in avoiding weight gain during the holidays and year-round. No matter what you're eating, be sure to eat small portions. This way, you get to taste everything without too much guilt. Try these tips:

  • Choose turkey over ham. And, instead of eating three slices of turkey, have just one.
  • Pause between bites, and stop when you are satisfied. Don't overeat. Instead, savor small amounts of each dish.
Plan ahead and balance your calories
  • If you know you have a dinner party that night, choose a healthy light breakfast like oatmeal or toast and a light lunch like a salad and half a sandwich.
  • In between meals, eat healthy snacks such as fruit or sliced vegetables.
  • Having a brunch celebration? Eat a light dinner, such as a salad.

Limit alcohol and sugary drinks
  • Beverages can have many hidden calories. That's especially true of sugary drinks like punch. So, drink in moderation and choose water or fat-free, sugar-free beverages options if possible.
  • Alcoholic drinks are loaded with calories. And, drinking too much alcohol can raise your risk of some cancers. Limit yourself to no more than one drink per day if you're a woman and no more than two drinks per day if you're a man.
  • Choose water or mineral water/club soda instead of tonic water or other caloric mixers.
Be aware of buffets
Buffet? Beware: you're likely to overeat and consume more calories than you would in one sitting. Try these tips to reign in the buffet temptations:
  • Use a small plate to help limit your food intake.
  • Start with the salads, and then move to the other dishes, choosing smaller portions.
Take control of the cooking
  • If you are in charge of the cooking, avoid high-fat ingredients and use healthy substitutes like oil instead of butter.
  • Include a fresh salad and vegetables in your meal.
Aim to maintain your weight during the holidays
The holiday season isn't the time to start a diet. After all, you should enjoy the holidays. Just try to maintain your weight.

And remember to stay physically active throughout the holiday season. Not only will staying active help you maintain a healthy weight; it will help minimize holiday stress.

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