Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi

Have a Healthy Holiday Season

Kathryn Johnson, MS, RD, LD

Many people say they gain between 5-10 pounds during the holiday season, which is typically Thanksgiving to New Year’s day. According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, the average weight gain is actually only 1-2 pounds. With the many parties and family get-togethers of the season, it is easy to fall off track. You can always get back on track with these helpful tips:

  • Never go to a party hungry. This can lead to overeating. Eat a snack before, and make sure your snack includes protein and fiber.
  • Hydrate before and after. We tend to eat more when we are dehydrated. Drink water before, during and after to cut down on overeating and extra beverage calories.
  • Don’t compensate by wearing baggy clothes. Continue to wear your usual wardrobe throughout the holidays. This will help you keep tabs on any changes in your weight.
  • Fill up with fiber. When you’re at a party, fill your plate with fruit and vegetables first before you go for the higher calorie dips and spreads.

When traveling during the holidays, it is easy to grab fast food and not think twice about your choices. Here are a few ways to eat healthy while still eating on the road.

  • Pack Smart. Have portable snacks on hand to deter you from grabbing a candy bar or chips at a convenience store. Fruit, nuts, low sodium beef jerky, individual nut butter packs and cheese are great options.
  • Plan Ahead. Know where you are going to stop, and look up restaurants. Most chain restaurants have nutritional information online and also have healthy options available.
  • Fast Food Fallback. When fast food is your last resort, here are a few ideas to still be able to stay on track.
  • Broth-based soups or chili can be a great starter or side to any entrée.
  • Avoid combo meals or “super-sizing” to help keep extra calories at bay.
  • Always try and order baked or grilled meats over fried.
  • Split a meal with a friend or family member to reduce portion sizes and eliminate the temptation to overeat.

Happy Holidays from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi! Eat Healthy! Be Healthy!

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