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The holidays are a time of celebration, and with that celebration often comes rich savory foods and delectable sweet treats. Megan Moore, R.D., L.D., CDE, a registered dietitian at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano, offers the following tips for eating better this holiday season.
1. Plan healthy sides. “When you’re planning a meal,” Moore says, “make sure there are at least two low-calorie items.” She recommends vegetables like green beans and a salad. “Fill your plate with healthy foods and have smaller portions of the higher-calorie foods,” she says.
2. Don’t keep leftovers. “Send leftovers home with people, so you’re not eating that high-calorie meal four more times,” Moore suggests.
3. Make simple substitutions. If you’re making traditionally high-fat foods, make simple decisions to lower the calorie counts. Use reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup, skim milk, low-fat ranch instead of regular, one stick of butter instead of two. “Little things like that can make a difference,” Moore says.
4. Have a plan for parties. Eat a healthy breakfast and lunch if you know you’re going to a dinner party, Moore says. But don’t skip meals, because excess hunger can lead to unhealthy choices. And watch your portions, she adds. “It’s not that you can’t have a treat,” she says. “You just can’t have a whole piece of every treat you want.”
5. Drink only in moderation. One serving of alcohol is 6 ounces of wine, one beer or 2 ounces of liquor. “Try to limit your alcohol to one or two drinks at most,” Moore says. “And try to stay away from higher-calorie drinks like eggnog and mixed drinks.”
6. Don’t stop exercising. The hectic holidays might have you ready to hang up your sneakers, but don’t, Moore says. “Maybe skip Christmas morning,” she says. “But the day after Christmas, get right back into it.” Or make exercise a family affair by playing football in the yard.
Baylor dietitians can help you understand how to take control of your health through diet. Learn more about our nutrition education services.
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