This is my favorite time of year. A time of gratitude, gathering of loved ones and great food. It is also a time when diets and healthy eating tend to go out the window for so many people. Although it’s the holidays and it’s pretty much a given that we’re going to celebrate with food, I want to share a few tips to make your celebrating brighter, lighter and easier! Holiday celebrating does not have to sabotage your weight. With a little know-how, you can satisfy your desire for traditional favorites and still enjoy a guilt-free season.
After all, being stuffed is a good idea only if you are a turkey!
Lighten Up: Want to make sure you will be able to button your jeans come January? Limit your exposure to stealth fat bombs. It is not the turkey but all the side dishes that will really do you in. The stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, butter, Brussels sprouts, green beans casserole, rolls with butter and a big slice of pie can push you over your calorie cliff. They are usually based around a healthy veggie or grain, but the problem comes when they are prepared with so much added sugar, or fat, and they lose their status as nutritional superstars.
Portion Control: Portion control is the key. If you love it, eat it! Do not abstain altogether, but you can scoop a spoonful or two of each indulgent dish on your plate so you experience a variety of tastes.
Eat breakfast – The worst thing to do is to skip breakfast and arrive at your feast later on in the day starving. When we are super hungry, we tend to eat considerably more. Have a small satisfying breakfast and a small, high-protein snack, such as an apple with peanut butter, a hardboiled egg or yogurt. These foods are not overly caloric and the protein in them will keep you feeling fuller longer and will help you be in more control during the meal.
Identify Your Weaknesses: Those unhealthy dishes that you can never resist and use smaller plates for the biggest calorie bombs.
Skip Seconds: If you are trying to watch your calories, do not have a second helping.
Do Not Drink Your Calories: Go easy on alcohol and do not forget those alcohol calories can add up. Remember that alcoholic drinks, sugary sodas or coffee are not your best friends.
Drink Plenty of Water: Sugary drinks are laden with ’empty calories’, while water is calorie-free.
Physical Activity: Spread out the food and fun all day long. You can schedule dessert after a walk. Eat less and exercise more in the days before the celebration.
Fill Up on Vegetables and Salads: Without a lot of butter, fat or salad dressing, that is. If you are going to someone’s house, bring along a salad or a veggie you like.
Finger Foods: Avoid them unless you are 100% sure they are a healthy and low calorie foods.
If you travel during the holiday, make sure to have with you healthy snacks to keep you satisfied on the road.
By Talia Segal Fidler, Holistic Nutritionist
Talia Segal Fidler holds a Master’s of Science degree in Health and Nutrition Education and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She has been teaching art at the JCC of Manhattan for the past 15 years, as well as participating in the wellness and culinary programs. Through her work with hundreds of students of all ages, she realized the important role of nutrition in disease prevention and healing, and how powerful the mind-body connection is in relation to our eating habits. A board-certified Holistic Nutrition Coach, Talia’s mission is to empower her clients to take control of their health, and improve their eating habits and their well-being by making sustainable changes that will be appropriate to their own individual lifestyle. Talia gives workshops and group lectures on nutrition-related topics such as food and longevity, seasonal eating, detoxification, foods that fuel, mindful eating, plant-based nutrition, navigating the supermarket, and nutrition for disease prevention. Talia also has a diverse professional background as a fine artist, and has been showing her artworks in galleries and museums in the USA for the past 20 years.
Talia presents regularly at The Lodge at Woodloch and her presentation offerings are updated weekly on the Activity Calendar. She can typically be found at The Lodge on Thursdays and Fridays. When not sharing her expertise and passion at group presentations, she is available for one-on-one consultations regarding Holistic Nutrition approaches (Thursdays and Fridays only). Please inquire with the Spa Concierge to reserve a one-on-one consultation if desired.