Employee wellness

Staying on track during the holidays
‘Tis the season -- time for holiday gatherings and festive treats! With a little planning, you can avoid holiday weight gain while still enjoying yourself and the company of others. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

If you are attending a party:

  • Set yourself up for success -- don’t go to the party hungry! Eat regular meals or have a piece of fruit before the party.
  • Consider bringing your own low-calorie dish. Healthy option ideas include salads, vegetable stews or a fresh veggie tray with hummus or light dip.
  • Savor the foods you really enjoy -- and skip the ones that aren't that great. Make every bite count!
  • Sip safely. Alternate alcoholic beverages with light sparkling water or spritzer to help save calories, avoid dehydration and maintain good judgment.
  • Be assertive. Don’t allow others to talk you into trying foods when you're not hungry. Become comfortable saying “no.”

If you’re throwing the party, here are a few additional ways to be a healthy holiday host:

  • Offer a variety of low fat, high fiber foods. There are lots of healthier options -- consider fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, grilled or broiled lean meats, fish, turkey, and chicken without the skin. Reduce the use of mayonnaise, oil, and butter. Increase fiber with whole grain breads, peas and beans.
  • Serve healthy alternatives to traditional holiday dishes. Transform traditionally high fat and high calorie foods into low fat, healthier versions. You can use nonfat or 1% milk instead of whole milk or cream. Try to bake or broil foods when possible instead of frying. Skip cream cheese and try low fat cottage cheese or plain yogurt.
  • Be a support system for your family members and friends. If you see them slipping, keep encouraging them to eat healthy during the holiday season, and throughout the year.

For ideas on healthy holiday meals and recipes check out EatingWell.com