Amanda Varriano

Varriano

'Tis the season for all things holiday related, including your favorite indulgences. There seem to be trays and trays of cookies and goodies as far as the eye can see. Here are some tips on fighting an expanding waistline this holiday season.

Keep the calories low:

• Keep cleaned and cut fresh fruit and vegetables on hand for an easy choice.

• Add low fat plain yogurt to creamy salad dressings — this cuts calories per serving and can stretch the amount you have on hand.

• Air popped popcorn, raisins and unsalted nuts are great healthy snacks to keep on hand.

• Offer to bring a dish to the party, that way you ensure there is a low-calorie option.

• Avoid fried foods.

Beverages:

• Enjoy hot chocolate with skim milk.

• Eggnog has plenty of “skinny” versions you can find by internet search.

• Drink a glass of water before drinking any alcoholic beverages.

• Add club soda to wine for a spritzer or to other mixed drinks for a lighter version of your favorite drink.

Avoid overeating:

• Don’t starve yourself the day of the party. If you go hungry, you are more likely to overindulge.

• If there are different size plates options, choose the smaller one.

• Take smaller portions. If you are still hungry, you can get another small portion.

• Wait 20 minutes before going back to the buffet table. It takes about 20 minutes for the message to get from our stomach to our brains that we are full.

• Out of sight, out of mind … if you can position yourself where the buffet table is out of your line of view, you are more likely to not go back for another round of food.

• Fruits, vegetables and whole wheat crackers have more fiber. Choosing high fiber food helps you feel full for longer.

Since it is the holiday season, go ahead and eat your favorite foods that only come around this time of year, just make sure to keep things in moderation. Choose your absolute favorites and have an appropriately sized piece. This will satisfy your craving without ruining your waistline. 

Amanda Varriano is a registered dietitian and general manager with Sodexo at CHI St. Alexius Health Bismarck.

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