November 22, 2016

8 Tips for Eating Healthy through the Holidays

November 22, 2016

Eating well during the holidays can be challenging for anyone, especially those trying to follow a special diet to lose weight or manage a chronic condition like diabetes. Cooley Dickinson Medical Group Diabetes Center staff offer these tips keep you eating well, and prevent weight gain that could lead to regrets when the new year rolls around.

  1. Getting Together? Don’t Show up Hungry!
    Eat sensibly early in the day before an event or party will to help you stay satisfied and avoid overeating less healthy foods. Try to plan ahead, and be more aware of what you’ll be eating and when, which will allow you to enjoy a few holiday favorites while sticking to your healthy meal plan.
  2. Budget Calories Wisely
    Take inventory of all your food choices. Examine the foods offered, including the buffet table and those passed as appetizers, so that you can budget calories wisely.
  3. If offered, pick up a smaller plate.
    If you don’t have a choice of plate size, then try to think of an invisible border on your plate fitting all of your portions within that border. As you fill your plate with food, that border will be defined by the food.
  4. Choose larger servings of lower calorie, high-fiber foods like fresh vegetables, legumes, and lean proteins. Limit the servings of starchy vegetables (such as potatoes, corn and peas), fatty foods, sugary desserts, and other heavy holiday favorites, which include foods with honey glazes and gravy, and casseroles with butter, sour cream, cheese and mayonnaise.
  5. Avoid Drinking Your Carbs and Calories
    Choose non-caloric beverages such as water, seltzer, or sparkling water, unsweetened tea, or diet drinks. If you choose alcohol, limit the amount to recommended servings (no more than 1 serving per day for women and 2 servings per day for men), and remember to eat when you drink.
  6. Stay Active
    Exercise is a great way to burn calories and lower your blood sugar. Include a fun physical activity at your next family function, such as a game of tag, Frisbee, or a walk. If including an activity is challenging, exercise before a holiday meal.
  7. Enjoy a Taste of Holiday Sweets
    Balance is everything! If you know that your favorite pie will be served after dinner, then forego a high calorie, high carbohydrate side dish at the main meal (such as bread or sweet potatoes).
  8. Share a dessert with a friend to keep portion sizes small. Offer to bring a dessert to share that fits in with your meal plan such as fresh fruit, baked apples, or a healthier version of a holiday favorite.

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll start the New Year off right.

Check out these upcoming programs and classes sponsored by the Diabetes Center.