Tuesday, December 20, 2016

All Good Things in Moderation

The holidays are a special time to embrace traditions, celebrate with family and friends, and indulge in treats that make the season so special. Healthy eating embraces all foods as part of a balanced diet, and encourages eating everything in moderation.

Allow yourself a little of your favorite foods as a treat. It is typically not the food that is the problem, it is the quantity of the food that you choose to consume. Take for example one chocolate chip cookie. At 150 calories per cookie eating 3-4 can easily lead to weight gain. Pies average around 350-500 calories per slice and the calories in alcohol can add up quickly as well. Learning to decrease portions can help keep your weight in check. It also helps lower your intake of saturated fat which is very important if you have a history of high cholesterol.

Cravings are suggestions to eat, but not commands to overindulge. When you feel cravings for treats try waiting 20 minutes, concentrating on something else, and leaving the area where food is. Often this will make the craving go away.

If you do choose to eat something you are craving enjoy it, but in moderation. You do not have to overeat. Take the time to truly taste and enjoy every bite of your treats. Avoid eating quickly and with distractions such as the TV or cell phone. This strategy helps us enjoy food more while consuming less.

Other strategies to help keep treats in moderation is to eat three balanced meals each day. This keeps appetite in check and prevents overeating that comes from skipping meals.

Eat until you are comfortably satisfied but not full, knowing you can enjoy more food later when you are hungry again.

Know your social calendar; during some events you may feel comfortable sticking to healthy low calorie foods and beverages knowing you plan to indulge at a different party later on.

Finally learn to say “no, thank you” politely when you have had enough. There is no shame in turning down treats especially if your health is at stake. 

Schedule an appointment with one of our dietitians to plan your 2017 goals; with insurance sessions are no cost to patients. Our office wishes you and your family a Happy Holidays and a Healthy New Year!

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