According to eatright.org, Americans gain about one to two pounds during the holidays. While it doesn’t sound dramatic, research shows it adds up over the years. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid weight gain while on vacation.
Tip 1: Don’t skip meals.
Keeping your appetite for a big holiday party or feast? No. Skipping meals during the day can lead to overeating. Eating breakfast is especially important, as research shows that those who eat this important morning meal tend to consume fewer calories throughout the day. Include plenty of fiber by eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Foods high in fiber are high in bulk and will satisfy hunger, but are lower in calories.
Tip 2: Eat small portions.
Holiday meals tend to be large, buffet style, and include a second and third serving. A common mistake is to eat large portions of foods that are perceived to be healthy. It is important to include nutrient-dense foods in your diet, but remember that these foods also contain calories and should be eaten in moderation. Using this approach at the holiday dinner table will allow you to maintain a healthy diet, which can always include dessert.
Tip 3: Choose a strategy to avoid overeating.
There are many strategies to help you avoid overeating. Using a smaller plate, for example, allows you to put less food on your plate and encourages good portion sizes. Also, start by filling your plate with vegetables and salad before moving on to starters and desserts. Eating a salad before your meal can help you eat fewer calories overall. Eat slowly and savor each bite, and before stepping back for a few seconds, wait 10 minutes to see if you’re really still hungry.
Tip 4: Keep moving.
After dinner, do some physical activity. It’s a great time to go for a walk and catch up with family members or play wrestling or basketball with the kids.
Tip 5: Make an appointment with a registered dietitian nutritionist.
Need help figuring out how to politely decline Aunt Sally’s push to refill your plate? How about ways to stick to your personal lifestyle goals? For more information on how to eat well, contact a dietitian-nutritionist in your area.
Send treats for the holidays
Many people enjoy cooking family favorite foods and mailing them to family and friends. The same rules that apply to the mail order industry also apply to food prepared and shipped to the door.
When sending in your favorite vacation foods, follow these USDA recommendations.
First, make sure that perishable foods are not stored at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees, the “danger zone,” for more than two hours. Pathogenic bacteria can grow quickly in the danger zone but may not affect the taste, smell or appearance of a food. In other words, you cannot say that a food has been mishandled or that it is unfit for consumption.
For perishable foods prepared at home and mailed, follow these guidelines:
- Ship in a sturdy box.
- Pack with a cold source, such as frozen gel packs or dry ice. When using dry ice, do not touch the dry ice with bare hands, do not allow it to come into direct contact with food, and notify the recipient of its use by writing “Contains dry ice” on the outside. of the box.
- Wrap the box in two layers of brown paper.
- Use permanent markers to label the outside of the box.
- Use the recommended packing tape.
- Label clearly on the outside; make sure the address is complete and correct.
- Write “Keep refrigerated” on the outside of the box.
- Alert the recipient of their planned arrival.
- Do not send to commercial addresses or where there will not be adequate storage in the refrigerator.
- Do not send packages on weekends. Send them out at the start of the week so they don’t stay in the post office or postal service over the weekend.
- When possible, send foods that don’t require refrigeration, such as hard salami, hard cheese, or country ham.