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November 15, 2012

10 Holiday Survival Tips

The Hood Answer Mom, Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D.

Seasonal favorites come around once a year, but the effects of overindulging on them may stick around for a lot longer. While the average American puts on only about a pound from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, small amounts of weight gain every year will widen your waistline with time.
That said, there's no need to avoid holiday favorites. Here are some tips and wiser food choices to help minimize the dietary damage. Here's wishing you happy, healthy holidays!

• Stay ahead of your hunger. Eat breakfast every day and make sure it has protein and fiber in it to help you feel fuller for longer. Have regular healthy meals and snacks throughout the day to avoid going overboard on holiday treats.

• Delay your reaction. When confronted with a yummy food ask yourself: Do I really want it? Then, wait five or 10 minutes and ask again. If the answer is yes, have a small portion. The first few bites are always the best.

• Put off picking. You're done eating, but temptations abound. Pop a piece of minty gum or a breath mint in your mouth and move away from the food.

• Savor the flavor. Eat only the foods you love, and enjoy every bite.

Make healthier choices:

Instead of: Gin and tonic or coffee liquor mixed with full-fat cream
Choose: Drinks made with diet tonic water or seltzer, and swap in milk for cream

Instead of: Crackers and cheese
Choose: Melon wrapped in prosciutto, shrimp cocktail, or steamed and lightly salted edamame in the shell (Bring your own lower-fat appetizer, if necessary.)

Instead of: Spinach-Artichoke dip made with cream cheese
Choose: Spicy Sour Cream Bean Dip

Instead of: Potatoes mashed with butter
Choose: Mashed potatoes made with Hood Light Sour Cream  or Hood Cultured Fat Free Buttermilk

Instead of: Mom's Broccoli cheese casserole
Choose: Roasted green beans or green beans almondine

Instead of: Pecan pie with ice cream
Choose: Pumpkin pie topped with Hood Fat Free Frozen Yogurt 

Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D., is a writer, nutrition consultant, and mother of three. She is the author of several books, including MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better and Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, & After Pregnancy . Ward is also a contributing writer for Muscle & Fitness Hers and Men's Fitness magazines.

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