Northeastern University Dining Services Blog

Friday, November 18, 2011

Strategies for Healthy Holiday Eating

Friday, November 18, 2011 | 4:21 PM Posted by Northeastern Dining , , , , , No comments


The holiday season is here! It is a great time to celebrate and spend time with family and friends. However, if you are not careful this time of year can become a time of over-indulgence and unwanted weight gain. According to the National Institutes of Health, the weight gain seen among adults each year can be the result of weight gain over the holidays. It is important to go into the holiday season with some strategies to avoid gaining those extra pounds.

  • Be physically active. People who are physically active are more likely to maintain their weight during the holiday season.
  • Be conscious of weight maintenance. It is more realistic to make a goal of weight maintenance versus weight loss during the holidays.
  • Limit soda and sweetened beverages. These drinks will add many extra calories.
  • Have a snack before the celebration. Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack to curb your appetite. You will be less tempted to overeat later.
  • Keep your plate balanced. When you are at a party with a buffet table choose your favorite foods but include vegetables and fruits for balance.
  • Use a small plate. If possible, choose a small plate to fill with your holiday favorites. According to the NIH there is pretty good evidence that the bigger your plate the more foods you will put on your plate - and the more you will eat.
  • Eat until you are satisfied, not full. Enjoy your favorite holiday treats while eating smaller portions. Eat slowly and savor each bite.
  • Healthy holiday cooking. Prepare favorite holiday dishes using ingredients that are lower in fat and calories.
Enjoy the holidays! Do not restrict yourself from enjoying your favorite holiday meals and treats. If you do overeat at one holiday meal choose a lighter meal later in the day or the next day. It really is about balance and moderation! Keep in mind that you will not gain weight from eating one piece of pie! It takes 500 calories per day (or 3,500 calories per week) above your normal/maintenance calorie needs to gain one pound.

Reference:
National Institute of Health (NIH). NIH News in Health. How to Hold off Those Extra Pounds. (November 2007).

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