November 26, 2013

news-austin-texas-therapy-nutrition-healthy-habits-adult-pediatric-home-health-care-tips-holidays-dietWant to avoid those pesky holiday pounds this year?

The medical nutrition therapy team at Epic’s Austin office can help.

Recently, the team hosted free nutrition classes for our clients and friends.  Leigh Hampton, registered dietitian, shared simple tips while discussing delicious and nutritious holiday cooking with clients.

“The classes went really well,” said Leigh. “All of the clients seemed very interested in the topic and were very eager to share the successes they have had during previous holiday seasons.”

While the average American gains approximately one to two pounds during the holidays – according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – that doesn’t have to be the case.

To keep you and your family healthy this holiday season, our nutrition team recommends these simple tips:

  • Do not skip meals. It’s hard to stay in control when you’re hungry.
  • Beware of beverages. Restrict or avoid alcoholic/highly sweetened beverages.
  • Fill up on healthy foods. Eat fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, cereal and water-based soups that will fill you up without filling you out.
  • Chew gum. Chew gum during holiday cooking to avoid overeating.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water to avoid overconsumption of high-calorie drinks.
  • Practice portion control. Use a smaller salad plate instead of a large dinner plate.
  • Be selective. Save your calories for the foods you love and skip on everything else.
  • Be a social butterfly. Spend your time talking to family and friends instead of hovering around the food.
  • Skip on second helpings.
  • Be active. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.

You can also avoid excessive calories by choosing one food over another. Below are some easy food swaps you can make:

  • Choose light meat over dark meat and save 215 calories.
  • Choose green bean casserole over stuffing and save 75 calories.
  • Choose mashed potatoes over sweet potato casserole (with marshmallows) and save 110 calories.
  • Choose a dinner roll over cornbread and save 60 calories.
  • Choose pumpkin pie over pecan pie and save 115 calories.

Although ‘tis the season to be merry, you can still enjoy healthy, nutritious food and drinks.

For more information on eating right, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ website.