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Healthy holiday game plan

| Wellness | Healthy You | Eating Right

Healthier Thanksgiving dinner

Tips for eating smart and being healthy during the holidays.

On average, Americans gain about one pound each holiday season. That might not sound like a lot, but studies show this pound generally is never lost - and a pound a year can add up over time.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to fall by the wayside during the holidays. Food swaps and the following tips will make it almost effortless.

Attending or hosting a party

If you’re headed to a party with a dish to share, make it healthy. How about a fresh salad, veggie dish or fruit infused tea or water? During the celebration, distance yourself from tempting foods. Are appetizers your kryptonite? Pick one that’s low in fat like veggies and hummus or even stuffed red potatoes. If you just can’t say no to dessert, you may want to bring this healthier version of pumpkin pie.

It’s absolutely OK to occasionally indulge, but keep in mind moderation and mindfulness. Scan the choices before you start, be selective and choose a smaller plate or glass to keep portion control in check.

Revise your recipe book

Consider these healthier food swaps this holiday season:

  • Use vegetable oil or unsweetened applesauce in place of butter when baking.
  • Try baked apples in place of pies.
  • Swap non-fat, plain Greek yogurt for sour cream.
  • Make seasonal roasted veggies instead of stuffing.
  • Serve a seasonal salad in place of bread rolls & butter.
  • Make your mashed potatoes with low-fat milk or try cauliflower mash.

More holiday recipe inspiration can be found here.

Keep moving

Don’t let exercise take a backseat during the holiday season. Take a stroll to the mailbox instead of driving or add an extra lap when you’re out for a walk with your pup. Simple additions to your day can help in the long run.

Drink enough water

It’s recommended that people drink about one-half to two-thirds of their body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water each day. For example, a 180-pound person needs approximately 90 to 120 ounces of water each day.

If you’re not a fan of plain water, consider adding an apple, red pear and cinnamon stick to a pitcher and sip on it throughout your day or the party.