November 28, 2012
Alison is a Registered Dietitian specializing in health and fitness nutrition. She is the co-author of �Go Beyond Good: The Trail to a Lifetime of Health and Vitality!� Do you have a question for Alison? Email us at email@example.com.
You have worked hard all year, following a structured fitness plan, eating a well-balanced, plant-strong diet, and reducing your stress levels to help you achieve or maintain a healthy body weight. Congratulations on an excellent job!
The true test of temptation always comes at the end of the year, during the holiday season. There are more �goodies� in the office, more parties to attend, more food-themed gifts, and all those traditional holiday desserts. Depending on which study you read, a person can gain anywhere from 1-10 pounds between Thanksgiving Day and New Year�s Day.
Since food is an important part of many celebrations and family traditions, it�s essential to have an Action Plan to avoid weight gain this holiday season.
The Healthy Holiday Action Plan
- Start the day with a well-balanced breakfast. Chose fiber-rich whole grains, an assortment of colorful fruit, tofu veggie scramble, or soy yogurt with muesli. Include a few nuts/seeds as well.
- Eat smaller snacks throughout the day. Do not starve yourself all day in order to eat a larger meal later. This action will cause you to overeat and consume more calories than if you had eaten lightly during the day.
- Don�t let your fitness routine take a holiday break. Your daily calorie intake may increase which means your calorie expenditure should be maintained or increased. Exercise can also help relieve holiday stress.
- Pay close attention to liquid or cocktail calories. Alcohol can be high in calories. Compare a 10 ounce Bloody Mary with 125 calories to a 4.5 ounce pi�a colada with 245 calories. A red or dry white wine contains around 125 calories in a 5 ounce serving.
- Increase your daily water intake. Chronic dehydration may slow your metabolism. Monitor the color of your urine. If you are adequately hydrated, your urine should be a pale lemonade color. Keep in mind some medications and vitamins may alter urine color.
- Balance each meal with adequate carbohydrate, protein, and fat. When you eat a whole food, plant-based diet, it�s easy to consume the right balance of these essential macronutrients. Limit your intake of high sodium foods like meat analogs and low-fiber processed grains. While at holiday parties, take only a �sample� or �bite� size of higher calorie foods.
Have a Happy Holiday Season!