Health Media Today
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Holiday Calorie Minefields You Need to Know
Author : Carolyn Eagle, Senior Editor, Health Media Today Category : Nutrition
The holidays are all about over-indulgence and it’s no wonder some of us have to loosen our belts in January. Parties and family gatherings abound at this time of year and there is nothing wrong with enjoying those once-a-year treats that the holidays bring but there are other aspects to the holidays that we may not realize are just as calorie-laden as those giant turkey dinners.
AT YOUR WORK
In many work places, treats start to show up by about mid-December and don’t seem to slow down until January. Home baked cookies in the break room, candy canes at the reception desk, the draw of the gingerbread latte on coffee breaks, pot lucks, and client lunches. These are the kinds of indulgences that you tend to forget about by the end of the day and not only do they pack a calorie-laden punch, the fat and carbs makes it harder to focus and stay awake at your desk.
· Keep some trail mix, nuts or berries at your desk. It’s easier to resist those 3 o’clock munchies if you already have something healthy and readily accessible.
· Stick to non-fat, no whip holiday drinks. If you just can’t resist, then lessen the blow. Remember that the flavored syrups already pack a sugary punch and you can still get that wonderful pumpkin, gingerbread or egg nog flavor without all the added fat.
· Bring your own herbal teas and sip throughout the day. It will keep you full and hydrated
· Bring your own healthy lunch and if you do go out, stick with appetizer sized portions or healthier food instead of large main courses.
AT THE MALL
Some of us dread it and some of us love it, but holiday shopping is unavoidable and the mall is not a place you want to be when you are trying to eat healthy. It can be done though, so here are some of my favorite tips:
· Have a filling, healthy meal before you go.
· Take some snacks with you and avoid going near the food court or other tempting treat stands.
· If you have to eat at the mall, go for high protein foods like sushi, a turkey sub, veggie wrap, or a small hamburger (hold the fries). They will fill you up and give you energy to keep shopping
· Bring some water and keep hydrated. It’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger and malls are extremely warm, dry and dehydrating at this time of year.
We all get busy at this time of year and it’s easy to order out more or resort to frozen or pre-packaged meals. Even if you don’t do your own holiday baking, edible gifts are common and we tend to have more goodies within easy reach than at any other time of year.
· Don’t put out bowls of candies or other treats around the house. This makes it too easy to keep reaching for them.
· Cook meals ahead and freeze them or buy healthy frozen meals for the whole family that you can quickly pop in the oven
· Get lots of sleep. Staying up late leads to late night snacking and munching during the day in an effort to stay alert.
· Keep healthy nuts, seeds, boiled eggs, vegetable sticks, hummus and other healthier treats on hand so you don’t reach for the cookies every time you get hungry