Tipping the Scale Over the Holidays

By: Ali Gorman, R.N.
By: Ali Gorman, R.N.

Some experts estimate people gain up to five pounds over the holidays, but other dieticians say that's an exaggeration. Still all agree weight gained during the holidays is most likely weight that will stay throughout the years.

That's why it's important to focus on celebrating the holiday with friends, instead of focusing on the food. Registered Dietician Katharyn Schultz of Ingham Regional Medical Center offers these tips to maintain your weight while enjoying holiday parties:
-Never go to a party hungry.
-Fill up on fruits, vegetables and some protein.
-Drink no-calorie beverages and limit alcohol.
-Have a plan as to which treats you'll allow yourself to try.
-Focus on socializing, instead of the food.
-Drink lots of water.
-Go for a walk before or after dinner.

If you're the baker, here are some substitution tips you can try to make lower-calorie cakes and cookies.

-You can use applesauce or pureed prunes to replace some of the butter or margarine called for in recipes.
-Use spices and herbs to add flavor, especially in low-fat recipes.
-Use fat-free cooking spray, instead of greasing a pan.
-Try sugar substitutes such as Splenda when appropriate in recipes that call for a lot of sugar.

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