It’s getting to be that time of year. We all know how easy it is to pack on a few extra pounds through the holiday season. During the next few weeks, we will be addressing ways to help you get through the holidays without adding extra baggage.
Week 1 Challenge:
Eat healthy before a holiday party
Welcome to week 1 of the Maintain, Don’t Gain! Healthy Holiday Challenge. Parties are an exciting part of the holiday season, but you don’t have to let your enjoyment of the season throw your commitment to healthy eating off course. This holiday season why not celebrate and be healthy at the same time?
Complete this week’s challenge
- Eat a healthy meal that includes fruit, protein, and whole grains.
- Each day, write what you ate in a Food and Physical Activity Log or track it using one of the many fitness apps — My Plate and Map My Fitness are some examples.
- At the end of the week, answer the questions on the back of your Food
and Physical Activity Log.
The importance of eating before a party
A well-balanced meal not only gives you energy throughout the day, it’s also linked to health benefits like weight control and improved performance. Studies show that eating
a healthy meal is key to:
- Maintaining a nutritionally balanced diet that is high in nutrients,
vitamins, and minerals
- Improving concentration and performance in the work environment
- Improving strength and endurance in physical activities
- Lowering cholesterol
Think skipping a meal before a party saves you calories? This is a common misconception.
When you skip a meal, by the time you get to the party, you’ll be craving caloriedense
foods. And, by the end of the night, you’ll have eaten double the amount of
calories you would have if you’d eaten a small, healthy meal before arriving.
Tips for healthy eating during the holiday season:
- Plan ahead
- Snack on fruits and veggies before heading to a party
- Pack a healthy snack and take it on the go
What to eat
A healthy meal should contain a variety of foods. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, and lean protein are all good choices. Some quick and healthy choices include:
- A fresh salad with a whole-wheat roll
- A smoothie made with fruit and low- or non-fat yogurt
- Fresh veggies with low- or non-fat dressing
- A slice of whole-wheat bread with peanut butter and a piece of fruit or glass of water
- Low-fat yogurt and a piece of fruit