Taste of Health Francesca Ballicu | 11 months ago

The Afterparty: Post Holiday Nutrition Tips

Nutrition tips to put you back on track for a new year.

With New Year’s Resolutions hanging over our heads and a muffin top hanging over our jeans, emerging from a world of eggnog, cookies and casseroles can seem more than a little daunting. But never fear! Here’s how to use nutrition to bounce back into shape after a calorie-laden holiday season:

Don’t Diet

Studies have shown that when you cut out your favorite foods, you start craving them more. Instead of putting yourself on a “diet” simply reframe your mentality. Cover your plate with whole foods like fresh vegetables and a little protein baked in olive oil and herbs. If you’re craving dessert, savor a square of dark chocolate or a cup of vanilla Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon. And if you really want that ice cream or slice of pie, then indulge. Just make sure it’s in moderation. Fill yourself up with the good stuff, and you’ll find that it’ll edge out the bad without even trying.

Make Substitutions

Just because you’ve made it your mission to eat better doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor! With these simple ingredient swaps, you won’t lose anything but unnecessary calories.
  • Swap White Bread for Sprouted Wheat or Whole Seed Bread
  • Swap Mayonnaise for Avocado
  • Swap Sour Cream for Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Swap Oil & Eggs for Apple Sauce
  • Swap Hamburger Patty for Marinated Portobello Mushroom
  • Swap Regular Potato Chips for All-Natural Sweet Potato Chips
Want more ingredient substitutions? Check out http://www.rd.com/health/healthy-eating/ingredient-substitutions/ and get cooking.

Slow Down

Food for thought: Slowing down at mealtimes can help reduce overeating because you’re better able to listen to internal cues and stop eating when you’re full, not necessarily when your plate is empty. During the holidays we’re so busy that we forget the simple joy of truly savoring our food. There are parties to attend, cookies to make and appetizers to enjoy, which leaves very little room for mindfulness. The solution? Turn the TV off, sit down at the table and pay attention to your food. You’ll be amazed at how much healthier you’ll feel when you heal that connection between mind and body.

Meal Prep

Prepping your meals ahead of time is one of the most important aspects of achieving a healthy, balanced diet and getting back on track after the holidays. It helps with: portion control, calorie intake and time management. Simply pick a day of the week (most people prefer Sundays) and spend a few hours making healthy meals and putting them in portable containers for fast, easy access. You can also cut up fruits and veggies for you and your family to grab between meals.
Serious about losing winter weight? Here are some SUPER POWER-UP TIPS: Juice in the mornings. Even if you’re not a fan of the cleansing trend, you can supercharge your nutrition intake by juicing once a day. It’s an easy way to get large amounts of nutrients into your body, fast. If you’re still hungry, a packet of oatmeal or an egg is a great way to satiate your appetite without overloading on calories. Go for a walk after meals. Even if it’s just around the block or the office for five minutes. This not only aids digestion by boosting your metabolism, but also has a de-stressing effect, which has been proven to help people lose weight because cortisol (the stress hormone) is linked to weight gain. Take the half-plate challenge. This means that half of your plate should be veggies and fruit (heavy on the veggies), with a fist-sized portion of protein and a fist-sized serving of a carb like roasted red potatoes or a sprouted grain dinner roll.  Do you wish you had a community to inspire you and support the choices you make to improve your family’s nutrition habits? Now you do. Join the conversation, or start your own, using #TasteOfHealth.