Enter the Holiday Season with Smarter Eating Habits

Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner 1

It’s all too easy to gain a few extra pounds during the holiday season, since many holiday social activities emphasize the sharing of delicious foods. If you have a medical condition that necessitates a certain diet, such as diabetes or heart disease, you might consider visiting your community hospital prior to the holiday season. You could talk with your physician about maintaining your meal plan throughout the holidays. A physician at your local hospital might recommend trying lighter holiday recipes and tracking your food intake.

Revamp Favorite Holiday Recipes

Many people enjoy baking desserts during the holiday season. You can lighten up your traditional recipes by substituting a few ingredients. Consider swapping out some of the sugar for zero-calorie stevia, for example, in addition to using a butter substitute. While preparing holiday meals, include more vegetables and fewer starchy side dishes, such as rolls. Instead, try roasted Brussels sprouts or sautéed mushrooms.

Improve Your Hunger Awareness

It’s easy to overeat during the holidays because meals often become social events. You can prevent yourself from overeating by considering whether you’re truly hungry or not. When arriving at a holiday party, sip on a glass of water before heading straight for the food. Try to eat slowly and mindfully so that it will be easier to determine when you’re satiated.

Track Your Food Intake

If you find your diet plan getting derailed during the holiday season from frequent snacking, consider tracking your total food intake. Keep a food journal and write down everything you eat. If you’re at a party, keep your food journal in your car and write down your intake before you leave. This can help you become more aware of exactly how much you’re eating, in addition to whether you’re eating a properly balanced meal plan .

West Hills-area residents can consider signing up for the H2U – Health to You – program available from West Hills Hospital. As an H2U member at our community hospital, you’ll receive actionable wellness information, interactive health tools, and invitations to wellness activities. If you have any general questions about the healthcare services available at our hospital, such as cancer care, maternity care, and spine treatments, call (818) 676-4000.

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