Today I turn my column over to Charlyn Fargo Ware, an instructor for the LLCC Culinary Institute and Hy-Vee registered dietitian, to help us get back on track after holiday indulgences. – Jay
Oh, we all love the holidays – they give us a little time to indulge, whether it’s in presents for our family or enjoying that piece (or two) of holiday candy. Constant nibbling/grazing, larger portion sizes, high-calorie recipes and inactivity are just a few reasons why the scale often stays up long after the Christmas tree comes down. Then comes January – and reality – with the bills, the scale and our health.
I’ve put together a few tips, gleaned from experience, to help you make 2016 your most productive yet. Embrace January as the month to get back on track – to get started on healthy eating, working out, becoming a better you.
- Try filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables and eating them first. Choosing low-calorie foods to eat first will help you save calories at the end of your meal.
- Include lean-protein foods in snacks and meals to help you feel full longer. Lean-protein options include white turkey meat, chicken, seafood, low-fat cheese and nuts.
- Eat slowly and socialize between bites. This will give your stomach time to tell your brain it’s full.
- Burn off calories from your meal by staying active – on a daily basis. Try taking a brisk walk with friends and family, dancing at the holiday party, sign up for a yoga class,
- Get Your ZZZs. Seven to eight hours of sleep per night may aid in eating fewer calories and choosing healthier foods during the day.
- Just as it is important to be mindful of holiday food consumption, refreshments and beverages are also something to be conscious of during the day. Regularly consuming sugary drinks – whether in the form of juice, coffee drinks or soda – increases a person’s risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and gout; while excess alcohol – also providing additional calories – has its own health consequences long-term.
- Make some healthy switches:
- Switch whole wheat flour to almond flour — This gluten-free switch provides any baked good an extra dose of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, along with a great nutty flavor. Use 1:1 for regular flour, but you may need an extra egg as a binding agent.
- Switch from sugar to applesauce. Using applesauce in place of sugar can give the necessary sweetness without the extra calories and sugar. By substituting one cup of applesauce for one cup of sugar, you can cut more than 500 calories from the recipe.
- Switch sour cream to Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt has half the fat, half the calories, and more lean protein, yet the taste and texture are almost identical to sour cream. Substitute anywhere you’d use sour cream such as baked potatoes, mashed potatoes and dips.