Monday, May 28, 2007

Healthy Holiday Eating

Ask Glen!

Q What do I eat on holidays and vacations?

A.Just because you're on vacation doesn't mean your healthy eating habits have to do the same.

The season for savory dishes has arrived, but maintaining nutritious eating habits shouldn’t be daunting. Take these ideas from Elisabetta Politi, R.D., nutrition manager at Duke University Diet and Fitness, and you might find the happy medium between being a diehard dieter and a guiltless gorger.

Say so long to strict rules

Politi says people who are ultra-strict about their diet during the holidays generally don’t enjoy the celebration and tend to rebound later. “When January comes and everyone starts their New Year’s resolutions, those people who have done really well through the holidays tend not to be highly motivated.”

Prepare and set goals for gatherings

Eat a snack before you head to Aunt Betty’s infamous afternoon feast. If you take the edge off of your appetite, you’ll be less likely to overindulge on the mouthwatering dishes. When you get there, try to keep track of your calorie intake. One goal Politi recommends is limiting alcohol intake to one beverage and drinking sparkling or seltzer water during the event. Think in terms of calorie comparisons, too. A serving of eggnog packs 251 calories, while a serving of spiced cider has 128 calories. Choose the cider, and with just one beverage serving, you’ve cut 123 calories from your day's caloric total.

Remember portion control

At celebrations, especially those with buffets, Politi advises, “take a look at what’s being offered before deciding what to put on your plate.” When making your plate, Politi suggests this ratio: 1/2 vegetables, 1/4 protein, and 1/4 grains. “Most of the volume on your plate is taken by vegetables, which tend to be lower in calories. Of course, you want vegetables that are not cooked with a lot of fat,” Politi says. If you’d rather not make a heaping plate of food once in the day, she also recommends the alternative of eating small portions frequently to avoid being overly hungry at any point.

Learn from Volumetrics

This theory, established by Dr. Barbara Rolls, professor of nutrition at Pennsylvania State University, found that people tend to eat the same volume or weight of food every day. “If you want to cut down on calories and not be hungry, eat more food with low calorie density,” Politi says. “Food that has low calorie density has a lot of water bound to it.” So, vegetables, fruit, and puffy grains such as rice or couscous are perfect choices to help you feel full.

Choose wholesome and healthy over high-fat and processed

When the holiday season draws near, it will bring with it the temptation of delectable (read: high-fat and high-sugar) dishes, which could mean disaster for your health. Fear not, Politi says. “If you want to enjoy food that has high calorie density, just try to choose something wholesome.” Nuts and dried fruits are flavorful and nutrient-packed alternatives to highly processed foods that offer no healthy benefits.

Put things into perspective

The upcoming annual weekful of feasting shouldn’t get you down about your diet. Remember, Politi says, that you have 51 more weeks in the year to eat healthy, so it’s OK allow yourself flexibility. “I think it’s important to enjoy the spirit of the holidays and not focus on food so much; it is not the main point of the gathering. By doing that, you will make healthier choices.”

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program.Please consult your physician !

Wishing You Great Health!

Glen Edward Mitchell

Any questions? Ask Glen

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Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States
Is the Founder of Fitness Builders 4 Life,the WorkOut GEM,G350,G180, G90, Eat 4 Life, Clean, Lean & Mean & Ask Glen. The mission of the Fitness Builders is to provide the community with health education and to empower people to change unhealthy lifestyles thereby increasing life expectancy. By educating the community on healthier lifestyle practices it is the intent of Fitness Builders to reduce the ravages of obesity, heart disease, cancer and other lifestyle or self inflicted diseases. Glen is also a AMA Certified Nutrition Specialist and a ACE, ACSM, NASM Certified Personal Trainer has 30+ years in Sports, Exercise Science and Nutritional Food Management, Learning and Mentoring Men and Women on a more Mental & Physical Healthy Life Style consisting of a low fat, low salt, Low carbohydrate, high protein, organic nutrition which also includes moderate exercise and mental awareness. Stay Informed, Live long and be Mentally and Physically Healthy! Any questions? Ask Glen!

Any Questions? Ask Glen!