10 Holiday Nutrition Tips

This time of year many of us will be celebrating the holidays with friends and family.  For some of us, this is the only time of year that everyone gets together and actually relaxes and enjoys each others company.  Something that goes right along with the holidays is food and lots of it.  So today we are going to talk about some tips to help you overcome the potential holiday food disasters that are potentially looming.

#1 – Forgo the Wine and drink water.  On average, 5 ounces of wine = 123 calories.  The average runner burns anywhere from 115 to 150 calories per mile of running and just a shade under that for walking the same distance.  I am not saying you can’t have a glass of wine with dinner, but do everything you can to drink as much water as you can in between meals.

#2 – Drink a big 8 ounce glass of water about 20 minutes before dinner is served.  You will find that you will consume far less than you normally would have.  Here is a great article pointing out a few studies done to prove this…though it does appear that age plays a role.  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/16/health/16really.html?_r=0

#3 – Eat SLOW!  No matter how hungry you are, eat slower than normal.  It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to signal the brain that you are full.  How many dinners have you been too where you were finished with your first plate in less time than it takes a sprinter to run the 400.  Slow down and enjoy the conversation.

#4 – Fuel up with veggies.  If you are concerned that the family might not have a veggie tray available…bring one.  That is my GO TO for pot lucks and other dinner parties where we were asked to bring something.  At least I know I am going to get my veggies instead of all those Christmas cookies.

#5 – Speaking of Christmas cookies…just avoid them.  They are of absolutely no benefit and they are only cookies…refer back to #1 as the calories are about the same for ONE cookie.

#6 – Try eating only the leanest cuts of meat.  If you are having turkey, avoid the dark meat at all costs.  Yes I know…it tastes the BEST…but the white meat is healthier for you.  Many of us cannot avoid these so the best advice I can give is to eat a little of everything in moderation.  Moderation Moderation Moderation

#7 – Dessert!  How in the world can you avoid dessert.  In most cases we can’t.  That is ok.  Have a slice of pie, but try to keep it at just one slice 🙂

#8 – Avoid all the pre-dinner finger foods.  Deviled Egg’s…(they call them deviled for a reason), cinnamon rolls, donuts, cookies, egg nog…do you best to avoid but if you must, pick one and enjoy the moment.

#9 – Don’t get into debates with family members about why you are not eating certain foods.  First, it is none of anyone’s business and second, it is your choice.  Saying, “I’m trying to lose weight” is a recipe for disaster…yes, I say this from past experience.  It never ends well and generally just makes us all feel bad.

#10 – In the end, have fun and if you want to splurge..go for it.  Take every bit of advice about nutrition and throw it out the window for the day.  Those that know me know that I fully endorse 4 days a year you can eat anything you like.  Christmas is one of them.  Enjoy yourself and have a great time.

Your running/walking shoes will be giving you a call on December 26th 🙂

Jim Parker is the owner and operator of Muffins to Marathons – Fit 4 Life and the Fit 4 Life Race Series.  If you have a comment for this story, please feel free to add your comments.  If you would like to contact Jim with a story or an idea please contact him at jim@fit4liferaceseries.com 



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