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Holiday party food

Holiday gatherings can be high-calorie minefields, but they don’t necessarily have to result in weight gain.

By using ADC Health Risk Management’s planning skills, such as keeping records and implementing “More is Better” even on a day when you plan to eat “out of the box,” you can protect the weight loss you have worked so hard to achieve.  Here’s how:

•  Plan out your days  by using your record book and paying special attention to the day of the holiday gathering.  Set clear goals, commit to keeping records, and be accountable to your health educator, coach, family member or friend who is invested in your success.

Set a higher goal for fruits and veggies.  Eat a minimum of 5-7 full-cup servings, and More is Better! Eating more veggies and fruits will help you stay full, get important nutrients, and manage your calories.

Have HMR Shakes or HMR Multigrain Hot Cereal with fruit for breakfast. Have more fruit or some veggies as a snack a couple of hours later. Plan to have at least one HMR Entree with vegetables before the gathering. Do not arrive hungry.

Serve yourself fruit for dessert (if it will not be available, bring fruit as a dessert offering) even if you have other desserts in mind. A slice of pecan pie could cost you a whopping 800 calories!  Eating fruit salad before a slice may satisfy your sweet tooth, and if not, you will probably eat less pie, saving you calories without sacrificing any of the flavor fun.

Decide whether you want to have an appetizer, or a cocktail, or a taste of dessert, but not all three. Alcohol is tricky because it’s  a calorie buster – it can also make you more vulnerable to abandoning your plan. Bring some chopped up veggies to snack on if there will be a lot of socializing before the meal.

Do your Physical Activity (PA) – first thing! If time is short, do a higher intensity workout – just do something for at least ten minutes. Once the day is under way it will be much harder to meet your PA goals. Every minute of PA will help balance your calorie budget for the day – and an early PA sets the tone for a healthier day in general.

Plan a More is Better “in the box” day the day after the party – A  minimum of 4S(hakes) + 2E(ntrees) +7 V(egetables)/F(ruits).  This will get you right back on track. Often, people make it through a holiday gathering only to find themselves digging in to leftovers. Don’t reward yourself for having a successful holiday by overeating the next day!

The holidays are a time to gather and celebrate. And although there are lots of special holiday foods, the love of family and friends are the true treats of the season. You will inspire others by shining the light of your good health – and in this season of giving – that is the greatest gift you can share!