“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” crooner Andy Williams famously sang of Christmas. As he further sang, “There’ll be parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting …”
Was he ever right or what? The holiday season is overflowing with merry gatherings, usually full of delicious things to eat and drink. From cups of cocoa topped with marshmallows, to your mom’s famous pecan pie, to full-scale feasts, there’s something to make everyone’s belly happy.
But – is a happy belly a healthy belly? Shown below are the calories in an average portion of some classic dishes, drinks and desserts. However, instead of all the sweets and high-calorie foods, there are smarter choices you may want to consider at the next gathering you attend. These choices will let you enjoy your meal AND be better for your health!
Here are some tips to treat your taste buds and maintain your weight.
- Don’t skip meals or sleep before a feast, or you’ll be more likely to overeat.
- Choose a small plate of your favorite foods, including a healthy selection of fiber-rich foods like fruits, veggies and whole grains that will help you stay full longer.
- Choose fewer carbohydrates, like potatoes and bread.
- Fill one small plate, then leave the buffet table.
- Eat slowly, taking the time to savor your food. Your brain needs at least 20 minutes to realize your stomach is full.
- If you’re thinking about going back for a second plate, drink some water and wait 10 minutes. Then see if you’re still hungry before going back for more.
- Choose one dessert you really love and then savor a small serving.
- Have your alcoholic drink with food.
- Make time for physical activity such as a game of backyard football, a walk with family or a bicycle ride.
A little preparation and motivation will go a long way toward keeping you healthy and happy during “the most wonderful time of the year.” Happy holidays!