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Have a happy, healthy holidays

Avoid derailing your weight goal with these helpful tips

December 20, 2016

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From the sprinkle covered spritz cookies to the sugar filled eggnog, the holiday season is filled with sweet treats.

“There are obviously a lot of treats over the holidays, but it doesn’t have to mean that you’re eating any more, eating any less healthy or being any less active than usual,” said Marion Smith, a dietitian at Regions Hospital. “As long as you’re conscious about continuing those healthy habits throughout the holidays, it’s absolutely possible to maintain your weight.”

But how do you stay conscious about what you eat and how much physical activity you do? Marion offered a few helpful tips on how to stay healthy this holiday season:

Eat healthy by being mindful

Be mindful and make mindful choices. This includes being mindful of what you eat, how much unhealthy food you eat and how you’re spending your time.

Enjoy all kinds of food groups at your celebration. Include fresh fruit at the dessert table and share healthier options during your holiday meal. Fill up on healthy foods, like veggies, fruit and whole grains, before going to holiday parties. This will help you be less tempted to fill up on only desserts. Instead of grabbing a cookie each time you walk by the dessert table, limit yourself to one or two.

Make exercise part of your holiday tradition

Whether it’s going to a fitness class or having fun taking a walk with family and friends, make exercising part of your celebration. Engaging your family and friends in your physical activities will help you stay focused on your goals. At holiday parties, laugh, mingle and play games. Focus on the fun instead of sampling all the different treats.

“Over the holidays, my family always goes for a walk as part of the day’s festivities,” said Marion. “Even if it’s cold outside, we just bundle up.”

Baking healthy treats

Eating healthy can be harder around the holidays because of all the sweet choices. A lot of the food that is brought to holiday parties is high in calories, fat and sugar. If you can’t avoid the treats, try baking them with healthy substitutes. Unsweetened applesauce or mashed bananas can be used instead of butter. Try reducing the amount of sugar the recipe calls for and use spices such as cinnamon, allspice or nutmeg for flavor. There are a lot of recipes that allow you to make the food you love in a healthier way.

Check out yumPower for different recipes.

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