Seasonal Thanksgiving feast on decorated table.
December 23, 2015 | by The Polyclinic

Cookie exchanges with friends. Indulgent holiday family dinners. Gift baskets of fudge, cookies and candy. Is it possible to survive the holidays without gaining weight but not depriving yourself of the season’s sweetest treats?

We’ve put together a list of 7 strategies to help you indulge without derailing your health goals over the holidays.

  1. Eat a snack before you go. You won’t be as likely to scarf down a plate of goodies as soon as you arrive at the holiday party.

  2. Choose protein and fiber. Balance out refined carbohydrates that are often served at events with foods that contain protein and fiber to keep you full longer.

  3. Provide entertainment other than food. When hosting a party, offer an opportunity to sing carols, play holiday games or decorate ornaments.

  4. Take a walk. Head outside instead of the couch after your family meal. Use the opportunity for extended conversation or time to reflect. For a festive twist, go in the evening to see Christmas lights in a nearby neighborhood.

  5. Substitute healthier ingredients. Lighten up recipes that use heavier ingredients with alternate options. Swap out oil for applesauce when baking or try plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for dips.

  6. Use a smaller plate. Trick your brain by filling a small plate with smaller portions. And, remember, it takes your brain 20 minutes to get the message that you’re full.

  7. Spice it up. Using natural spices such as citrus, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and vanilla can pack flavor without added sugar.

If you need support with any nutrition-related health issues, visit Nutrition Education or call us at (206) 860-2208.