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Published on Thursday, December 21, 2017

Avoid Adding Extra Pounds to Your Waistline this Holiday Season with Simple ¡Viva Health! tips from Metro Health

CONTACT: Carol Schliesinger, 210-207-8172

SAN ANTONIO (Dec. 21, 2017) –  Staying healthy throughout the holiday season is no easy feat. You made it past the thanksgiving meals and now you’re faced with holiday party after holiday party filled with delicious, calorie-dense foods that are hard to resist. But do not despair! Our ¡Viva Health! Nutrition Team has tips on how to make healthy choices in the next few weeks. 

When attending holiday parties:

  • Don’t skip meals! Start your day with a small meal that includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables and proteins.
  • Make sure to eat a healthy snack such as an apple or small handful of almonds beforehand to control your hunger and avoid overeating.
  • Decorate your plate! Fill half of your plate with colorful fruits and veggies first. This can help keep your hunger in check while increasing your fruit and vegetable intake for the day.
  • Alternate sugary seasonal drinks and alcoholic beverages with a glass of water to help keep you hydrated while filling you up, leaving less room to overindulge.
  • Use a smaller plate to control portions, so that you can enjoy delicious holiday dishes while managing your intake. You don’t have to try everything; focus on your top 3-4 favorite dishes.
  • When consuming desserts, use the buddy system-split a dessert with someone and reduce calorie and fat intake.  
  • Choose your favorite dessert and slowly savor each bite, allowing your taste buds and stomach time to be satisfied with a smaller portion.
  • After a meal and before dessert, enjoy a cup of warm fragrant tea. There is a good chance that by the time the dessert tray arrives, you are content with your soothing cup of tea and your desire for a sugary confection will have decreased. 

On the flip side, if you are entertaining this holiday season here is a list of tips that will help you give your guests the gift of health:

  • Choose simple sweets: consider preparing a fruit plate with squares of dark chocolate on the side.
  • Create a food-free space for your guests to mingle. Proximity and availability of food increases the chance of eating that food, even when you are not hungry.
  • Instead of falling prey to the “more” mentality, keep the holiday meal simple by offering fewer dishes filled with nutritious ingredients, keeping your guests feeling satisfied and nourished.
  • Set the table for success by offering low calorie foods first. If guests start the meal with a broth soup or salad, they are less likely to fill up on starchy, buttery rolls and other indulgent dishes later.
  • Downsize serving bowls for family-style meals using small instead of large bowls.
  • Serve festive infused water to guests as a substitute for sugary beverages. Try adding orange, cucumber or mint for refreshing holiday flavor!
  • Set the bar with elegant skinny highball glasses instead of short wide tumblers, helping your guests keep track of their sugary or alcoholic beverage intake. 

And remember the three ¡Viva Health! messages:

  1. Fill half your plate with fruits and veggies, every meal, every day.
  2. For portion control, use a smaller plate.
  3. Drink water, not sugary drinks. 

Eat well; feel great, every season of the year! For information and materials on the ¡Viva Health! Campaign, visit:http://www.sanantonio.gov/Health/VivaHealth

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Author: Cambri Ensminger (GPA)

Categories: City News, Health

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