7 Tips to Surviving Holiday Feasts

July 11, 2009

Thanksgiving feast

Check out a nutritionist's seven easy tips to enjoy your favorite holiday foods without paying for it when swimsuit season comes around.

If you are what you eat, then most people turn into holiday cookies sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Where it begins

November is the start of temptation season. It begins with Halloween candy and continues through to the new year. For most of us, it's the following equation:

Treats + Parties + Temptation = Weight Gain

The few pounds gained are often still there the next year…when the cycle starts all over again. As the years go by, the pounds add up.

7 easy tips

This year make a pact with yourself to break that cycle. You can make it through the next two months without gaining weight. Try these seven tips to keep the holiday parties, treats, and your waistline under control.

  1. Look before you eat - Check out all the foods at a party and allow yourself a little of one ‘bad' food. Then fill the rest of your plate with healthy items like vegetables, lean meats, and salads with light dressing.
  2. Snack before you go - When you're not sure what foods you'll be faced with, have a healthy snack before going to a holiday gathering. This way you won't be as hungry and will be satisfied with smaller portions.
  3. Keep your hands busy - Keep a calorie-free beverage in your hand at cocktail parties. This keeps your hands from mindlessly reaching into snack bowls and food trays.
  4. Limit alcohol - Holiday drinks can be loaded with calories. They go down easy and add up quickly. Plus drinking more can make you more likely to snack without thinking about it.
  5. Use a healthy recipe swap - Online, you can find lower-calorie, healthy recipes for just about anything. Check out sites like cookinglight.com for healthier versions of family favorites.
  6. Keep your balance - If you can keep a healthy and balanced diet most of the time, you'll be half way there in preventing weight gain. Keep goodies in hard-to-reach places so they're less accessible. If you have to climb on a chair to reach the cookies, it's going to make you think twice about having them.
  7. Plan ahead - Having a plan for meals means having more control over your diet and your weight. Spend just a little time each week planning out the weekly meals. Focus on lots of vegetables, lean meat, fish, and poultry and don't overdo grains and starches.

It's never too soon to start

The sooner you make a plan to have a healthy holiday season, the more impact it'll have. If you typically gain, then preventing that gain is a big deal. If you really work at it, you may even find you lose a few pounds before the end of the year!

Give yourself the gift of weight loss

If you're like most people, the thought of tackling weight on your own can seem daunting. Finding support and guidance can be a key to success. The Sensei for Weight Loss program can help you achieve that success. Sensei was created by healthcare professionals, doctors, dietitians, and psychologists who understand the challenges of losing weight.

Weight loss tools at your fingertips

We created a program that's available on your mobile phone and your computer, so that it's with you anytime, anywhere. You can log in anytime to customize and plan ahead. We help you tackle the unhealthy habits that get in the way of losing weight. By looking at the way you live, the foods you like, and where you like to eat, we create a plan that fits your life. With more than 25,000 meals in our database, we have something for everyone.

This year give yourself a gift – a leaner, healthier you. As a Humana subscriber, you can join Sensei free for two weeks and $4.99 per month after that. Just log in to www.sensei.com to enroll and use the promotion code EPLAN27 when you enroll.

About the author

Renée Melton

Nutritionist, educator, counselor, and food lover for more than 20 years (OK, a food lover for a bit longer), Renée is a registered dietitian and nutrition director for Sensei. When not working, she can be found hanging with her human and furry friends or trying to perfect the latest healthy recipe. She believes that moderation and prevention are the keys to health and that good nutrition doesn't have to be as complicated as it seems.

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