5 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

A simple guide from nutrionist Elizabeth DeRobertis of Scarsdale

 

If you have a hard time holding back at the buffet table—and the sweets spread afterward—we feel your pain. But with all that over-indulgence, unwanted added pounds are inevitable (and much more difficult to work off later). Stay off the doctor’s Naughty List and still enjoy the holidays with these simple tricks from Scarsdale-based nutritionist Elizabeth DeRobertis, co-creator of an all-natural appetite-control drink mix called HungerShield. 

1) Don’t arrive hungry. “Eat at regular times throughout the day before attending your event. Eating small, frequent meals helps keep you feeling satisfied and makes you less likely to give in to temptation,” says DeRobertis. “Even if you have the best intentions, if you get to a party hungry, all bets are off!”

2) Bring a healthy dish. DeRobertis advises contributing “a starter to help you fill up on lower-calorie foods, such as a crudité platter with low-fat dip, a salad, or a fruit platter and a healthy dessert such as angel-food cake with berries.” This way, she says, “there is something there you can give yourself permission to eat more of, as a way to eat less of other [less nutritious] foods.” 

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3) Eat calories low-to-high. “Start your meal by eating the salad and vegetables and drinking a glass of water,” the registered dietician instructs. “Next, move on to the lean protein, such as roasted chicken, turkey, or fish. Then, eat a smaller portion of the starch—or even try to skip it. By the time dessert comes, you may even say, ‘No, thank you.’”

4) Modify recipes to make them healthier.  “You don’t have to give up traditional favorites,” DeRobertis assures. “Just modify them.” Home cooks, she says, can “substitute high-fat ingredients with lower-fat or fat-free ones, such as two egg whites instead of one whole egg, low-fat plain yogurt instead of regular sour cream, a one-to-one ratio of flour whisked into non-fat milk instead of heavy cream, and chilled evaporated skim milk instead of regular whipped cream.”

5) Make active family plans. “Holidays are intended to be social gatherings with family and friends, not eating frenzies,” DeRobertis points out. “Plan activities like volunteering at a food bank or even a hike before or after dinner rather than sitting and eating. The more calories you can burn, the better.”

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