WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Before you reach for that second slice of Christmas cake, you may want to think about this: dieticians say the average person gains a little more than one pound over the holidays, which may not sound like much, but that overindulgence could take a toll on your body, particularly your digestive system.
When in doubt, add color to your plate and sip smarter. Those are just two ways anyone can have a balanced approach to healthy eating during the upcoming festivities.
“A lot of people are really excited about the holidays, and all they can think about is the food,” Trista Eason, owner of Flex Appeal, said.
More jingle, less jiggle, but how can you accomplish that with so many hot holiday dishes at the dinning room table? Eason believes it’s all about moderation.
“Yes, it is okay to enjoy holiday food,” Eason said. “It’s something that comes around once a year; you’re looking forward to your grandma’s pie.”
Member of the Flex Appeal team and nutritionist Chase Wolf said when you do enjoy those favorites, also try to load up on the good stuff – like vegetables – as well.
“We recommend a palmful of protein at every meal for women, cup of carbs, a fistful of veggies, a thumb-full of fat,” Wolf said. “That’s one of those things where no matter where you go, you always have your hands with you, so you can kind of estimate, ‘Am I hitting a balanced meal?”
After you finish eating, you don’t have to just sit around.
“What you wanna do is not graze all day,” Eason said. “Go ahead and put the food up when you’re done eating; make sure you still eat regular meals – breakfast lunch, dinner, in between the meals just get outside and play.”
Doing those things, like going for a walk with the family or just simply giving yourself a stopping point when you’re full, can be helpful too.
“Recognizing when you’re full, making sure you’re actually drinking water throughout the day, a palmful of protein for every meal, trying to focus on getting some vegetables in because just because it is a holiday, doesn’t mean we have to neglect other areas of our health,” Wolf said.
“And the weather’s gonna be great this weekend, so getting outside and playing is really going to be good for your health, and it’s gonna help you not feel so bloated and yucky and make more room for more food later on,” Eason said.
Eating healthy for the holidays can be challenging, but Eason and Wolf want everyone to know it doesn’t have to mean giving up those goodies you love. Also, drinking doesn’t always bring holiday cheer, so use moderation there, too.
If you’re going to grab a cocktail, dietitians recommend reaching for clear liquors like vodka and gin, as those tend to be lower in calorie content.