Tag Archives: holidays

MySisterSaid Do You Have a Holiday Game Plan?

Turkey-with-footballJust as football coaches this time of year are thinking about their game plans, I’ve been thinking a lot about my holiday game plan for eating healthfully and staying fit.  Every year, I read tips for maintaining my weight, and I try to be cognizant of them as I negotiate the field of dietary land mines I traverse from Thanksgiving through the New Year.  From buffets to candy dishes, to seasonal cocktails and pumpkin pie, the list is long!  I recently read two ideas that I hadn’t heard before, and I’m adding them to my holiday game plan:

Start early to fill up on fiber: Starting a few days before the holiday, eat a half-cup serving of high-fiber, low-sugar cereal just prior to two or three of your meals.  According to the latest Health and Nutrition Letter from Tufts University, this satiety-boost will make you feel more satisfied and in control, and that will help you want to eat less.

Gain control back quickly:  Once you’ve eaten that big meal, it’s easy to head down the slippery slope to one indulgence after another.  The experts at Tufts recommend immediately working towards recovering your satiety.  Starting with breakfast the next day, put yourself on a high-fiber regimen.  Incorporate high-fiber cereals, legumes, or low-carb high-fiber breads into each meal and snack.  Taking care of your satiety will help you lose the desire to overeat.

In addition to these two new tips, I also revisited some that are tried and true.  While these are recommendations most of us have heard, I find reading through and visualizing myself doing them yields better results:

Don’t go to a party hungry: Starving yourself all day in anticipation of eating more at a party tends to backfire and you end up hungry and out of control once you get there

Try to fit in an extra 15 minutes of exercise each day:  It will not only burn some calories, but will help keep you mindful of your body and how it feels

If you drink alcohol, be sure to alternate with water:  You’ll drink half as much alcohol, stay hydrated and make better choices

Move the candy dish as far away as possible:  Studies show that even moving it a few feet farther away can make a difference as to how much you consume

Volunteer to make a healthy dish to take to a social event:  Be sure to make something enticing and make that the first thing you put on your plate

Fill at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables:  Scope out the buffet table before you decide what to eat, then load up on the healthiest choices first

So whip out your turkey platter, and string up the sparkly lights, but find time to make your holiday game plan.  Think how much better you’ll feel about yourself heading into the new year knowing that you had a great time, and that you were in control!