By Ruth Blair, Registered Dietitian
Kaiser Permanente Manteca Medical Center
With the holidays fast approaching, we will all soon start spending quality time with friends and family – surrounded by food.
Most of us will gain 1 or 2 pounds throughout the holiday season. While that may not seem like much, the pounds add up if we aren’t careful about what we are eating and remaining active throughout the year.
Fortunately, staying healthy is easy if we follow these five tips:
1. Practice portion control. Fill at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables, and less than a quarter of the plate with meat or protein. Include high-fiber foods since they satisfy hunger and are usually lower in calories.
2. Move away from the buffet table. Place your food on your plate and move to another part of the room to eat and enjoy your friends and family to avoid facing a seemingly endless supply of temptation.
3. Eat slowly. Research shows that it takes the brain 20 minutes to catch up with the stomach after eating – that’s when you feel satisfied.
4. Eat a light, healthy snack before attending a party. A small salad, a half sandwich, or a bowl of nutritious cereal about an hour before your event means you will likely be less hungry at the party.
5. Take comfortable shoes to gatherings. Encourage friends and family to go for a walk after eating – you may have as much fun conversing during a walk than in the middle of a loud home. Exercise raises your metabolic rate and, of course, allows you to burn more calories throughout the day.
For more tips on how to stay healthy, visit kp.org/nutrition