Healthy Holidays- Thanksgiving and Beyond
Ready or not, the holidays are here! With less than a week until Thanksgiving, you are most likely finishing your menu preparations and completing shopping tasks. For most, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
Over the last several weeks, I have heard many fretting over the dreaded extra pounds that usually come with the holidays, or those simply asking for tips of how they can maintain weight goals and lifestyle goals through all of the ensuing busyness. Good news! I am here to tell you that success can be yours, and it doesn’t have to be hard!
Back to the Basics: Moderation
At Lemond Nutrition we talk a lot about “sometimes” foods versus “all of the time” foods. Recipes made with high fat marinades, heavy cream, baked goods, etc., would classify as sometimes foods. Note that these are not called “never foods.” Moderation is key when enjoying your favorite foods around the Thanksgiving table.
- Start Small-a small taste of each dish allows you to enjoy a variety of flavors without overdoing portion sizes. You can always get more if desired. (Start with approximately 1-2 tablespoons of each dish.)
- MyPlate- assess your plate for all food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, dairy). What is represented? What groups are missing? Be intentional about adding the missing groups onto your plate or incorporating missing groups at snack time.
Added sugar and fat can sneak their way into your diet through beverages before you even realize it! They tend to be even sneakier around the holidays. For example, a cup of eggnog boasts close to 200-300 calories (with almost 10 grams of saturated fat). Hot chocolate (depending on preparation) is close behind at about 150-200 calories. Other seasonal favorites may top the 300-calorie mark.
Again, I have good news! These beverage favorites still don’t qualify for the “never foods list” and they don’t have to sabotage your diet/weight goals. Enjoy these “sometimes drinks” in relation to your dietary goals.
- Make a goal- If these beverages are a part of your everyday intake; consider changing to every other day, or 3 times per week. Small, consistent changes are key to success!
- Choose Water Frequently- consuming adequate amounts of water assists with keeping our bodies hydrated and helping curb appetite.
- ReThink Your Drink- read a previous blog post here.
Most Importantly: Stick to the Plan!
It may be tempting to skip earlier meals prior to a Thanksgiving meal or party; however, sticking to your normal meal routine will assist you in managing hunger and monitoring food intake.
- Start with breakfast- set yourself on the right track with a satisfying breakfast. Example- scrambled eggs, oatmeal topped with walnuts/almonds and fresh fruit. Add on a Greek yogurt to you normal breakfast. Keep it simple, yet nourishing.
- Have a snack- stick close to the vegetable and fruit trays as a nutrient rich option.
- Maintain activity- Consider participating in a local Thanksgiving 5k, plan a family football game, or go on a walk.
Mindful eating along with small, consistent changes will keep you in charge of your health and lifestyle goals through Thanksgiving and the following weeks. From all of us here at Lemond Nutrition, we are thankful for the opportunity to serve you and we wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings!
Photo credit: TheJacobsClan
Filed Under: Holiday Food, Portion Control, Seasonal Food,