Holiday get-togethers and parties can be a healthful-eating challenge! In the whirl of chatter, good company and alcohol, you can easily lose track of how much you’ve tasted and nibbled. Texas Registered Dietitian Sarah Galicki shared some tips for beating the buffet table. There are a lot of calories packed into this time of year. People are dropping off candy, you’re going to parties with really rich, indulgent appetizers and creamy drinks like eggnog, so it’s important you be prepared. And you really can navigate the holidays without gaining weight.
HOLIDAY HEALTHY EATING TIPS
- Eat first. Never go to a party hungry or you’ll wind up eating too much, too fast and choose the wrong things. Before you go, eat a bowl of Greek Yogurt, it’s loaded with protein and calcium, with some fruit and a little bit of crunch and good fats with pistachios. [DISPLAY ITEM: BOWL OF GREEK YOGURT WITH FRUIT AND NUTS]
- Sip smart. Avoid alcohol if possible. Alcohol can hinder willpower and makes it much easier to eat too much or not make the right choices. And skip the cream. Drinks like eggnog or Irish cream liqueurs are loaded with bad fats and calories. Drink a spritzer with sparkling water, juice and a lime instead. It looks great good, tastes great and has hardly any calories. If you want to indulge a little but, drink have some champagne. A 4-ounce glass of has approximately 100 calories.
- Focus on finger foods. Bite-size treats may be rich, but the small size limits the calorie impact. A good option? Nuts, like pistachios. They’re great to snack on; 49 have exactly 150 calories, and they satisfy that salty/crunchy craving. Plus, they’re full of nutrients and fill you up. The healthy fats will help regulate your blood sugar level throughout the night. Really helpful if you’re drinking. Take something like this along as a hostess gift so you’re sure there’s a healthy choice.
- Avoid the white stuff. In the buffet line, skip the white rice, white pasta, white bread. They’re loaded with calories but no nutrients. Choose items with whole grains instead. They’re full of nutrients and have fiber, which will fill you up so you don’t have to eat as much.
- Delight in dessert. Probably the toughest temptation of all. But there’s no reason to skip. Most of us have a sweet tooth. Satisfy that sweet craving with some fresh fruit. To make sure it’s available, bring some as a hostess gift; it’s always welcome.
SARAH’S BONUS TIPS
- Don’t be first in line at the buffet. The food looks pretty in the beginning. Once people serve themselves, it’s not as appealing and you’ll eat less.
- Survey all of your options before you make your selection. Mindful eating is always key.
- Get a small plate. Pace yourself and enjoy the food and festivities.
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