Happy (and Healthy) Holidays!

 Here are some tips for staying on a healthy track this holiday season:

  1. Don’t Get Too Hungry:

Avoid arriving at a holiday party in a state of utter starvation. It is understandable that you want to save your appetite for all the delicious food that will be served, but let me tell you, this is a lose- lose situation. Here’s why–if you arrive ravenous to a party, you will likely go overboard on appetizers, consuming an excess of calories and ruining your appetite for the main attraction. If you have a small, protein- rich snack prior, you will feel satisfied and be able to focus your sights on more important elements, like socializing with family and friends, as opposed to the chip bowl.

 

  1. Watch Portion Sizes:

If appetizers or snacks are being served prior to the main meal, use a small plate to guide appropriate portion sizes. Place appetizers on a plate and sit down to enjoy them, instead of picking and grazing. This is where most people get into trouble, as they are unaware of how many calories they are consuming by mindlessly munching on appetizers.

If dinner is served as a buffet, it is important to be mindful of what you are putting on your plate and also how many trips you are making up to the buffet table.  Fill half of your plate with vegetables, eat slower and chat with fellow guests during the meal. This will make you mindful of what you are eating and conscious of when you are beginning to feel full.

 

  1. Cut Yourself Some Slack:

Although I do believe that the scale is beneficial for weight management, it is important to recognize that if you gain a few pounds during the holiday season, this number is not a permanent fixture. Do yourselves a favor and don’t hop on the scale the day after a big holiday party or meal–your body needs time to adjust and normalize appropriately.

We all fluctuate, so the scale shouldn’t dictate how you think of yourself or squash your good feelings after spending time with family and friends. Pick yourself up and keep moving forward. A few days of clean and mindful eating will push that number right back down.

Nothing to WINE About!

Nothing to WINE about!

By Juliana Jacobs, MS RD CDN

So, what’s the real deal with our wine?

As the saying goes, everything in moderation…even our beloved vino! Wine not only livens up the party, but may be shown to have beneficial health implications as well.  Fruit of the vine appears to boost levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol, and helps prevent LDL, or bad cholesterol, from causing damage to the lining of our arteries.

Which is the best wine to stick to this holiday season?

Dry wines such as Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc (white) and Cabernet Sauvignon (red) contain less than 1 residual gram of sugar per 5-ounce serving. It is best to avoid sweet Reislings or dessert wines, which tend to be higher in sugar and can pack on those pesky pounds.

Red wine contains the most resveratrol and flavonoids, important antioxidants found in wine that can improve hearth health by preventing blood vessel damage, as well as reducing LDL cholesterol. Resveratrol also linked to prevention of inflammation and diabetes. But be aware, red wine does not contain a large amount of these antioxidants, so an individual would need to drink many glasses in order to obtain the health benefits. And there may be up to 130 calories per glass!

White wine contains antioxidants in white wine may help protect lung function and promote heart health. But be aware, white wines are the most acidic, which can worsen acid-reflux and cause damage to tooth enamel if consumed over a long period of time. Additionally, because white wine is stripped of the grape skins when being processed, it does not contain as many health benefits as red wine, but does have the same caloric content.

If you are going to drink wine, it is recommended that you stick to the appropriate guidelines for alcohol consumption, 1-2 servings per day for men and 1 serving per day for women. Individuals who consume more than this recommended amount per day can increase their risk for future health complications. So drink smartly this holiday season…be aware of serving sizes and make sure not to consume alcohol on an empty stomach. If not, there’s always next year!