Halloween brings the first hint that your healthy diet is in trouble. Many people can survive Halloween easily enough, but Thanksgiving is less than a month away and typically the largest feast of the year. Thanksgiving dinner includes roast turkey along with mashed potatoes, gravy and stuffing followed by sugary desserts like pumpkin, mincemeat or pecan pie with dollops of whipped cream. This unhealthy fat and sugar combo is enough to knock anyone out afterward, especially when sinking into the couch and watching the Thanksgiving Day football games.
It’s a fact that one meal isn’t going to do too much damage or add weight. However, Thanksgiving dinner often sets the tone for what lies ahead because the December holidays generally involve a series of parties or at least inviting situations to indulge in unhealthy foods. Food gifts start flooding into the office — sugary cookies and candies, along with bottles of wine, scotch and whiskey. Hot buttered rum, spiked eggnog and a host of holiday cocktails contain a lot of calories and are quite fattening.
As colder weather sets in with shorter days and longer nights, people tend to exercise less. According to betterhealthusa.com, Americans gain an average of seven to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years. The good news is there are numerous sites online with helpful tips on how to avoid eating unhealthy foods and weight gain. Here are some suggestions:
- Don’t skip meals. People mistakenly believe skipping meals will reduce their caloric intake but it drives them to overeat fattening foods that are bad for them.
- Keep exercising. As the holiday rush makes you feel short on time, don’t drop out exercise.
- Plan ahead. When you know you’ll be going to parties or face other food challenges, eat extra healthy foods in the days before the event.
- Cut down on fattening foods. Take less gravy, cream sauce or whipped cream when indulging. Cutting back a little bit here and there can make a big difference.
- Be moderate with alcohol. Instead of one drink after another, drink a mineral or soda water in between alcoholic beverages.
- Forgo the appetizers. Unless you’re loading up on celery, carrots and veggies, skip the fattening appetizers like dips and fried foods.
At Smoothie Factory Nutrition Depot we have plenty of healthy products to load up on or give as holiday gifts. And by all means, maintain your healthy diet and exercise routine going throughout the holiday season.