Making smart choices around the holidays

Published By Nutrition with Kimberly & Newport Boxfit



It’s easy to get swept up in the holiday season. By having a plan, you can come through the holidays without any guilt.

  1. Be choosy and spend calories judiciously on the foods you love.

  2. It takes a few minutes for your stomach’s “I’m getting full” signal to get to your brain. After finishing your first helping, take a 10-minute break. Drink some water. Then recheck your appetite.

  3. At a party, don’t stand next to the food table. That makes it harder to mindlessly reach for food as you talk.

  4. Don’t go out with an empty stomach. Before setting out for a party, eat something so you don’t arrive hungry. A great snack combines complex carbohydrates with protein and unsaturated fat, like apple slices with peanut butter or a slice of turkey and cheese on whole-wheat bread.

  5. A glass of eggnog can set you back 500 calories; wine, beer, and mixed drinks range from 150 to 225 calories. If you drink alcohol, have a glass of water or juice-flavored seltzer in between drinks.

  6. Avoid alcohol on an empty stomach. Alcohol increases your appetite and diminishes your ability to control what you eat.

  7. Work off some holiday calories by suggesting a walk before the meal or even between dinner and dessert.

  8. At meals and parties, don’t ignore fruits and vegetables. They make great snacks and even better side or main dishes just be careful of ones with lots of sauces! Include lots of seasonal, colorful fruits and vegetables.

  9. At a buffet, look at the food table before putting anything on your plate. By checking out all of your options, you might be less inclined to pile on food.

  10. To show family and friends that you care about them, be creative with recipes that use less butter, cream, lard, vegetable shortening, and other ingredients rich in saturated fats.

  11. Enjoy in moderation.

  12. Enjoy holiday treats in smaller portions; make healthy substitutions where you can, and plan ahead.


The holidays are chock full of delicious dishes, but they can come with extra calories and unwanted ingredients. Keep your holiday traditions, and make small changes and smart substitutions where you can.

  • Instead of butter, use a healthier vegetable oil or substitute equal parts unsweetened applesauce when baking.

  • Use a lower-calorie sugar substitute.

  • Use low-fat or nonfat milk instead of whole milk or heavy cream.

  • Instead of only white flour, use half white and half whole-wheat flour.

  • Instead of adding chocolate chips or candies, use dried fruit, like cranberries or cherries.

  • Use extracts like vanilla, almond and peppermint to add flavor, instead of sugar or butter.

  • Use vegetable oils or soft margarine instead of butter.

  • Use whole-grain breads, rice and pasta instead of white.

  • Bake, grill or steam vegetables instead of frying.

  • Compare labels of your holiday ingredients, and choose products with lower amounts of sodium and added sugars.

  • Use spices, fresh herbs and citrus juice to flavor foods and drinks instead of excess salt and added sugars.

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