Here are a number of tips from our nutrition expert Amanda Foti, MS, RD CDN, that can help you stay on course keeping any weight gain at bay throughout this Holiday season.
1. Start by getting ahead! Make sure each day leading up to Thanksgiving includes healthy meals and snacks, keeping portions in check. Avoid any treats or drinks in the days leading up, knowing you’ll be able to enjoy some on the holiday.
2. Drink lots of water! Aim for 48-64 oz. a day. Keeping hydration levels up will help boost metabolism, keep energy up and even regulate hunger levels and food cravings.
3. Get those activity levels up! Plan to exercise every day this week even if it’s small workout! Only have 10 minutes before the shower in the morning? Do a quick HIIT workout or go for a jog around the neighborhood. This will help to burn extra calories of course but also help boost that metabolism going into a food centered holiday!
4. On the day of: DON’T skip meals to “save calories”! This will cause your metabolism to slow way down, feel fatigued, and throw off food cravings and hunger levels. Have a healthy breakfast and lunch with protein and fiber. Before hosting or heading to your destination have a quick snack like a Greek yogurt or protein bar to curb your appetite a bit.
5. Go in with a plan. Have an idea of 1-2 unhealthy (but tasty) foods you want to enjoy and allow yourself to enjoy them with no guilt! Keep portion in check and load up on the healthy items.
6. Up against a multiple course day with appetizers, dinner and desserts? Use the 1 plate rule! Use 1 small plate or napkin to taste a few appetizers but not fill you up. Use 1 small dinner plate, not overflowing, to select mostly lean protein (turkey) and fiber options (vegetables) and small scoops of a few tasty treats. Finally for dessert pick one ½ portion of any option you don’t always get to enjoy.
7. Slow down when eating. Take your time with each bite engaging all your senses to truly enjoy the yummy Thanksgiving Day treats! This will not only enhance your eating experience but also help you know when you’re full and satisfied!
Amanda Foti, MS, RD, CDN, is a Registered Dietitian and a New York State Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist with a Masters in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She has broad experience managing disease with nutrition and lifestyle in the clinical setting, and extensive training in cognitive behavioral therapy in relation to emotional eating and weigh management counseling. Amanda currently works one-on-one with clients developing personalized weight management plans that address nutrition, activity and lifestyle.