Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Enjoy Holiday Parties and Buffets Without Regrets

The following tips were provided by Registered Dietitian Ann Marie Smokowski, who offers nutrition counseling at the Mercy Comprehensive Care Center and the Mercy OB/GYN Center. Click here to learn more.

The holiday season lasts almost seven weeks. During this period, it's common for many people to gain anywhere from one to two pounds. Prevention is key in this situation. Here are some tips to diffuse any weight gain.

If You're at a Party...

  1. Exercise: Make sure you exercise sometime during the day before the celebration. Take a brisk walk in the morning or during your lunch period. Try to make exercise a regular part of your schedule, at least 150 minutes of cardio on a weekly  basis. 
  2. Snack Beforehand: Before the event, make sure you eat a small, healthy snack, so you are not starving when you arrive at the party.
  3. Carry a Beverage: Keep a glass of a low-calorie beverage in your hand (club soda, water, unsweetened iced tea, diet soda) so that it's awkward to eat at the buffet.
  4. Eat Slowly: Enjoy the taste of the food you are eating.
  5. Scope Out the Buffet: Give the buffet a "quick look" so you can quickly evaluate the food options at the part table. Make a note of the low-calorie foods that are available vs the high-calorie options.
Don't give up the fight! Remember even if the person falters. It is only one event. Awareness of your environment is key. You can take the above tips and use them for your next event.


If You're Given Desserts as a Gift...

Share with family, friends or neighbors. 

If you're having a party, you can serve these sweets to your guests. If there are leftover sweets at a party, I usually divide and distribute them for the guests to take home. 

Bring some of the treats to work in the lunchroom.

If You're Pressured to Eat by Family or Friends...

Engage the person making the comment in conversation. Hopefully, you can distract them by changing the topic.

You can then try to select small amounts of a variety of foods from the holiday table. You may try second helpings of the food that are lower in calories, like salad, vegetables, yams, etc. Always be conscious of the portions you are serving yourself.

There is no crime in pacing oneself and not feeling overstuffed and uncomfortable.

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