Healthy Eating Tips from Dr. Shaw

Healthy Eating Tips from Dr. Shaw

Dr. Shaw’s Tips for Healthy Eating this Holiday Season

Dr. Garrett Shaw is a Family Practice provider at Gothenburg Health. 

The holiday season is an important time of year to spend with family and friends. For many, it can also be a time for over-eating and weight gain. By focusing on a healthy balance of food, activity, and fun, the holiday's don't have to mean weight gain for you. Here are some simple tips to help you stay healthy this holiday season.    

  1. Be realistic. Don’t try to lose weight during the holidays, focus on maintaining your current weight instead.
  2. Portion control. You can still enjoy your favorite foods, but the trick is to eat larger portions of healthy foods balanced with smaller portions of more indulgent foods.
  3. Don’t skip meals. To help avoid over-indulging, try eating a light snack like some fruit or raw veggies to curb your appetite before leaving for a party.
  4. Eat until you’re satisfied, not stuffed. Savor your favorite holiday treats while eating small portions.
  5. Be selective. Survey party buffets before filling your plate. Pick your favorite foods only and be sure to include some fruits and veggies to balance your plate.
  6. Plan time to exercise. Exercise helps reduce holiday stress and prevent weight gain. Increasing daily exercise can help partially offset increased holiday eating. Try 10-15 minute brisk walks twice a day.
  7. Limit liquid calories.  Many alcoholic drinks tend to be high in calories and can induce overeating while non-alcoholic drinks are also often full of calories and sugar. Make sure you’re filling up on water instead.
  8. Bring your own healthy dish to a holiday party.
  9. Take the focus off food.  Turn candy and cookie making time into non-edible projects like making wreaths or a gingerbread house. Plan group activities with family and friends that aren’t all about food.
  10. Get creative about reducing calories in classic holiday dishes:
  • Substitute 1/3 of marshmallow sweet potatoes with mashed carrots. 
  • Substitute whipped cream for ice cream with your dessert pie. 
  • Cut the back crust off your pie to cut 150 calories.
  • In general, try avoiding excess carbs, starches, and sweets.

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