I feel like it was just August, and I was swimming and eating summer foods. But I digress—it’s officially the holiday season! It’s an exciting time, but also a time of bottomless eating. This week’s Tip Tuesday is dedicated to maintaining your weight during the holidays while still indulging in dessert. I do believe that low-calorie foods, like fruits, vegetables, legumes, lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy, should be the basis of any healthy diet. But wouldn’t life be so boring without dessert? Well, I’m a Nutritionist who says yes to dessert! But here’s the thing…
They key to dessert is moderation. One of my goals as a Nutritionist is to make people mindful of their food choices. That means thinking about the type and amount of food you choose and your reason for making certain food choices. By considering these things ahead of time, it’s easier to make healthy food choices and leave room for dessert. Let me give a more specific example.
Although I don’t advocate certain diets, I want to mention Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers allows members to save up points in a “bank” and then use those points on indulgent foods. In other words, you eat healthy 95% of the time and indulge in a treat 5% of the time, otherwise known as moderation. This is a great way to approach holiday desserts. Bank up your dessert calories by:
- Skip dessert the entire week prior to a holiday. When you finally get to indulge in your favorite sweet treat, it will make it taste that much better.
- Another alternative to this is eating very healthy the week prior to a holiday. Try having a Meatless Monday and incorporating fruits and vegetables into at least 2 meals/day. Your body will thank you, and your reward will be a holiday dessert!
- At a holiday party, limit your appetizer and dinner intake in preparation for dessert. Eat no more than 1 small appetizers and 1 dinner plate (half filled with veggies). When dessert rolls around, pick out your favorite item and have 1 small piece. You will probably already be full by this point, so a small taste should suffice your sweet tooth.
- (This one is for those with the best willpower.) If you weren’t able to control your eating up until dessert, take 1-2 bites of your favorite dessert and then throw it out. Or, cover it with your napkin to avoid eating anymore.
Stay tuned for next week’s Tip Tuesday: Holiday Edition on the importance of holiday exercising!