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Healthy Eating Tips for the Holiday Season

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With Thanksgiving and the holidays right around the corner, one thing that is on the minds of many people is the dreaded holiday weight gain. Weight can impact your health in many ways, including the health of your bones and joints. When a person is even slightly overweight, it can add stress to their joints, especially their weight-bearing joints like the knees and hips. For example, every pound of weight gained puts an extra 3-5 pounds of pressure on knee joints.

So how do you make it through holiday gatherings filled with tempting sweets and indulgences without packing on extra pounds? Follow these 6 tips for eating healthy during the holidays.

Be Realistic

The holidays are a hard time to lose weight, so don’t be discouraged if your efforts are not paying off. Instead, aim to maintain your current weight and if weight loss is your goal, re-focus your efforts in the New Year!

Avoid skipping meals

Many people think skipping a meal or snack to save calories makes it okay to indulge later in the day. This can lead to overwhelming hunger which often dictates unhealthy choices. Instead, eat your regular meals and snacks and you will be less likely to let your stomach take over and your brain can make healthier, more reasonable choices.

Bring a healthy dish

Bring a healthy dish to share with friends and family to provide a menu option you know is enjoyable and nutritious.

Be picky

Take a minute and survey the different foods on the table before filling up your plate with all the buffet has to offer. If you avoid the foods you don’t really want, you can have your favorites in moderation to prevent cravings later. When building your plate, focus on choosing half fruits and vegetables and only small amounts of your unhealthy favorites. If you practice the three bite rule for unhealthy foods you can have an amazing first taste, a satisfying middle one, and a lingering third bite without over-indulging.

Limit the alcohol

Most alcoholic holiday drinks are full of empty calories, sugar, and fat. If drinking, do so in moderation and choose simple drinks made with club soda or fresh fruit for flavoring. Be mindful, alcohol also lowers inhibitions which can often result in overeating and unhealthy selections.

Exercise to start the day right

Although you are busy with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, don’t forget to maintain your exercise routine. Exercise in the morning to help set the pace of healthy behavior for the day. If you do not currently have an exercise routine, consider taking walks after meals with the family.

Keep Calm - Don’t forget to relax and enjoy the holiday season!

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