Moderation is key to a healthy holiday season

Stacey Kendrick teaches ways to make smart food choices at the Health Plus Healthy Kitchen Cooking Video Library. (Vanderbilt University)

Health Plus offers some tips for healthy eating during the holidays, a time that is often fraught with feasting and excess. For those participating in Health Plus’ Hold the Stuffing program, final weigh-ins will be held the week of Jan. 9-14.

 Healthy Holiday Tips

  • Keep holiday eating in perspective. Have some of your favorite treats, but don’t indulge every day. Allow some treats for special days and then get back into your healthful eating routine the next day.
  • Make healthy contributions to the holiday menu at work or home. Your friends and family will welcome a fresh vegetable dish or a mixed green salad. Or, take a more traditional holiday dish and modify it to
    Extra holiday sweets abound during the season of giving. Give yourself the gift of moderation, and rejoice in a healthier body in the new year. (Vanderbilt University)

    reduce calories by reducing the amount of fat and/or sugar in the recipe.

  • Beverages do count toward your calorie intake. Try low-fat options with your favorite holiday drinks such as coffee, eggnog, and alcoholic drinks.
  • Get moving! Enjoy exercise before the party or take a walk or bike ride after the festivities with others from the party. Exercise can not only burn the extra calories, but also reduce your stress from the holidays.
  • Use a small plate. Smaller plates encourage smaller portions, which mean you will eat less.
  • Enjoy wintertime activities with your loved ones. Activities can include skating, sledding, skiing, walking in the mall or outdoors, dancing and working out in a gym.
  • Stay hydrated with water. Enjoy a glass of water before a meal and you’ll find yourself eating less at that buffet.
  • Plan ahead for holiday festivities. Eat a healthy snack before a party or have a small meal before attending a night-time activity with your family. Skip the “save your appetite” mindset.
  • Choose moderate portions of your favorite holiday treats, such as cookies, candy or desserts. Be aware of what and how much you are eating.
  • Walking is an exercise that can go anywhere, from the woods to the mall. No need to carry equipment with you or be worried about finding a gym, just hit the pavement.

Source: Lisa Eierman, MS, RD

Visit Health Plus online or call 343-8943 for questions. Health Plus is a part of Faculty and Staff Health and Wellness. Learn more helpful tips at the Health Plus Healthy Kitchen Cooking Video Library.

Stacey Kendrick, (615) 322-6689