A Time for Enjoyment Not Guilt
Guest Post by Christina Sabatino

December 7th, 2011

The holiday season should be a positive experience. It’s a time to spend with loved ones, to reflect spiritually, and to embrace family traditions. However, the holidays can bring about numerous tempting foods, many of which remind you of your childhood and the traditional celebrations you’ve shared. There’s no reason why you can’t take part in holiday festivities as long as you’re mindful of what you’re eating. The best way to take on a challenge like holiday food temptations is to be prepared. Keep in mind some of the following eating strategies. They will enable you to take pleasure in the foods you enjoy without feeling as if you’ve strayed too far from your diet plan. Remember, you’re in control.

Don’t go to a party starving. Before you leave, eat something light like a piece of fruit or low fat cheese and crackers.
Don’t sit directly next to the buffet table. Make the decision beforehand to distance yourself from the food once you’ve made your plate.
Don’t pass up favorite foods or deprive yourself. Moderation is the key.
Examine the buffet. Choose your favorites and skip your least favorites. Include vegetables and fruits to keep a balanced plate.
Bring your own healthy creation. This way, you’ll know for sure that there will be a healthy option and others can try it too.
Eat leisurely. There’s more to the holidays than the food alone. Enjoy your company and take a breath before each bite. This will help your body to know when it’s full to avoid overeating.
Got diabetes? If you happen to have diabetes make diabetes friendly choices. Be mindful of the carbohydrate content of foods. If you’re eyeing that slice of pie for dessert, designate a certain amount of carbohydrate for each course so that the slice of pie fits into your carbohydrate allowance.
• Be careful with beverages. Alcohol can reduce inhibitions, cause overeating and unexpected low blood sugar. Drinks like eggnog are calorie dense but if this is something you really like, limit to one glass.
Plan time for physical activity. Organize an activity at holiday gatherings to get both kids and adults involved.
Be realistic and don’t fret! If you overeat at one meal go easy on the next. It takes 3,500 calories to gain one pound.

Taking on holiday temptations with a plan will help to keep the experience enjoyable. Being prepared and eating mindfully keeps you in control without allowing temptations to take over.

Christina Sabatino is a dietetic intern from CW Post LI University.

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