Nutrition and Health Tips Having a Healthy Holiday
January 21, 2019 by Counseling and Wellness Center of Pittsburgh dietitian nutritionist, healthy eating, healthy holiday 0 comments
Holiday Nutrition and Health Tips
Having a Healthy Holiday
The holidays are here and along with them we have tremendous potential for time with loved ones, a flurry of new and exciting opportunities to celebrate. Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years blessings do not end with togetherness. Eating and breaking that celebrated bread are one of the most fundamental ways that we have come together to enjoy the wintry reprieve, in fact when asking many people what the most memorable part of a holiday is, they often rely upon descriptions of tastes and time honored recipes prepared by loved ones. With all of this focus upon food it is no wonder that according to Deborah Balfantz, PhD, a renowned Stanford University researcher, the average person gains at least one pound over the holidays. While the one pound does not necessarily wreck your waistline or over all health, it can cause potential problems if this pound is gained every year without ever coming off. With much to lose, let us examine ways to forgo the potential pitfalls of all of this holiday joy.
Controlling your portion size is one of the most underutilized means to both enjoy some of those delicious holiday treats while not over indulging. Typically a serving size is much smaller than we imagine and a heaping plate of nutrient dense foods is full of more calories than we may need in a day. When it comes to desserts and cookies, there may not even be a recommended serving size but that does not mean that we shouldn’t indulge, a little bit happens to go a long way.
In addition to portion control, we should all make a habit of slowing down when we are enjoying seasonal delicacies. This means being very aware of each bite that you take, to chew it slowly and completely. Chewing and eating can become a form of meditation when we cherish and focus upon it. In fact, mindful eating can be a very valuable tool to enhance our experience with food. Take the time to smell it, to consider the texture, the taste, and experience of each single bite.
Create Opportunities For Fitness in Your Down Time
Being fit and maintaining health do not happen as an exclusive result of going to the gym, we can be fit by creating exercise within our own home and daily routine. During the holidays, all of the parents recognize that they have more time with the kids who are off from school, use this as an opportunity to share in physical play, lots of tag and hide and seek will help. If you have lots of house hold chores, you can easily make fitness repetitions out of them, standing in the kitchen baking some bread, bring awareness and strength to rolling out those cookies, or why not do some squats as you shuffle dishes in and out of the oven.
Most of these recommendations do not end for the holidays but are great ways to stay well all through out the year.
In health and wellness,
Counseling and Wellness Center of Pittsburgh
*This article does not take the place of medical advice, if you have a medical condition or diagnosis, before making any changes to your diet, you should consult your physician or Nutritionist.
Deborah Balfanz, PhD, 2018, Stanford University Blog ‘How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain.’