Eating healthfully during the holidays is always a challenge. This year the pandemic is making it even harder.
Help your clients get through the holiday eating season with our Holiday Survival Tips PowerPoint show. The presentation addresses the reality of holiday weight gain and helps audience members make a plan to avoid it.
Here are three of the Holiday Survival Tips along with how they may need to be tweaked this year due to COVID-19:
- Focus less on food and more on celebrating what the holidays are all about. This can be difficult if you’re alone or unable to get together with friends or extended family this year.
- Schedule phone calls and virtual gatherings so you’ll have something to look forward to besides eating.
- Keep your hands busy with knitting, crafts, adult coloring books, or puzzles – you can’t eat while doing these kinds of activities!
- Make up for missing events like tree lightings and holiday festivals by finding things you CAN do. Walk around your neighborhood to see all the holiday lights, for example.
- Pay attention to exercise and sleep — two things that the holidays tend to interfere with.
- Make a plan to take a walk or do an exercise video at the same time every day. Text a friend to stay accountable.
- Avoid staying up later than usual or sleeping in. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule so you’ll wake up refreshed every morning.
- Put health-promoting gifts on your wish list, like a Fitbit or a subscription to the premium version of a meal planning or food tracking app.
- Find ways to make traditional holiday dishes a bit healthier.
- Use less fat or sugar in recipes. Staying home means you’ll be in control of the big holiday meals, so make this the year you try a lower fat pumpkin pie or sweet potatoes without the sugary toppings.
- If there’s only going to be four of you for the big holiday meal, scale things down. Buy the smallest pies or cakes you can find. Bake smaller batches of things like your favorite holiday cookies. The goal is to NOT have lots of leftovers to tempt you.
- If you’re buying a meal from a supermarket or restaurant, make sure you know what you’re getting and adjust accordingly. Keep some extra roasted vegetables or salad on hand to add to a purchased meal.
The holidays and the pandemic make it easy to gain weight and hard to lose it. Probably the best tip we can give people this time of year is to aim to maintain their weight.
Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD