Linkedin Twitter Facebook Email Our Blog
Join our mailing list

Posts Tagged ‘ Holiday eating ’

Holiday survival guide: 8 Strategies to Avoid Overeating

Below is my latest blog post for Huffington Post, Holiday Survival Guide: 8 Strategies to Avoid Overeating.

You can also read it HERE.

With the holiday season upon us, food is everywhere. From festive holiday parties to dinners with friends and family, let’s face it, this time of year tends to center around food. And, it is perfectly OK to indulge on occasion, sans the guilt, without gaining weight. The trick is to enjoy what you are eating, and to eat mindfully while avoiding overindulging and gaining weight in the process.

For the good news, according to research published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Americans, on average, gain just about one pound during the holiday season, with overweight individuals gaining a bit more. This is really not too bad, as long as we keep it to just one pound and get back on track come the New Year.

To help avoid gaining weight this holiday season while also enjoying your favorite foods, here are some strategies that I have used successfully with clients that I counsel in my nutrition practice.

1. Eat healthy MOST of the time.

Make healthy low-calorie choices when you can and do not waste calories nibbling at home while watching TV. Celebrate only at a holiday dinner party or during a holiday event. Plan your day and even plan for your occasional splurge.

2. Eat what you LOVE.

Do not waste calories overeating on cookies and junk food that you do not like just because they are sitting there or because someone else is eating them. Save your extra calories for special foods you enjoy during this time of year.

3. Mind your PORTIONS.

What I love about portion control is that you can still indulge in your favorite foods instead of banning them completely. And you do not have to eat tiny portions. The trick is to eat larger portions of healthy foods balanced with smaller portions of more indulgent and high-calorie choices. For additional tips that I offered on portion control, click here and here.

4. Try eating off of RED plates.

Red is a festive color and red plates certainly go with the season. New research published in the journal Appetite found that we eat less when eating food on a red plate. Subjects who were given pretzels on a red plate ate significantly less than those given pretzels on a blue or white plate. Who knew? Certainly worth a try. The authors suggest that the color red may work as a subtle stop signal (like a red traffic light) which may guide us to reduce our intake.

5. Eat MORE fruits and veggies.

High in fiber, rich in nutrients, and low in calories, enjoying colorful fruits and vegetables is a win-win. Try filling half of your plate with fruits or vegetables at each meal.

6. Limit LIQUID calories.

When we drink our calories instead of eat them, we do not tend to register fullness and we often end up consuming extra unnecessary calories. For example, we often eat a bag of chips with the soda we are guzzling down. And liquid calories such as soda are pure empty calories. Many alcoholic drinks also tend to be high in calories and drinking tends to decrease our resistance to temptations. It is OK to enjoy an occasional glass of red wine, or white wine spritzer, but best to have the drink with dinner and not on an empty stomach. And, fill up on water or seltzer, both calorie free, before your meal.

7. Keep up your EXERCISE routine.

Choose an exercise routine you enjoy and pick a time that works for you so that you will stick to it.

8. DROP the guilt.

If you overate, do not feel guilty. And now there is now research to prove it.
New research found that people who feel guilty after eating large amounts of snack foods tend to gain more weight than those who don’t feel the guilt.

This year, enjoy the holiday season sans guilt!

Share |

Healthy holiday tips

Holiday eating tips: how to enjoy a healthy holiday season

With Passover and Easter around the corner, I’ve been helping clients struggle with issues surrounding holiday eating. Holidays are a time for pleasure and enjoyment, family and friends, and food should be enjoyed during this time. Passover, for example, is a holiday focusing freedom and liberation, among other things, and I have, therefore, helped to free clients from challenging eating traps. Whether you are attending a Passover seder, an Easter dinner, or some other festive gathering, follow the principle of moderation. And remember, this is not your Last Supper. Happy holidays!

Here are some tips and tricks so that you can have a healthy holiday season. Enjoy!!

** Watch portion sizes.

Enjoy your favorite holiday treats but take a small portion.

Avoid portion distortion: moderation is key.

Fill up on MORE fresh fruits and veggies. Follow USDA’s  MyPlate guidelines by filling HALF of your plate with fruits and veggies.

** Banish your membership in the “clean plate club.”

Leave a few bites over.  Ask yourself: Am I hungry?

** Be realistic about weight loss during the holidays

Don’t try to diet during the holidays. Try to maintain your current weight. At the very least, now is not a time to begin a diet.

** Don’t go to a holiday festivity starving.

Eat a healthy snack—yogurt, fruit, veggie soup, salad– before a party

** Balance party eating with other meals.

** Don’t skip meals. Make a plan.

** Make only one trip to the buffet table.

Choose only the foods you really want, and keep your portions moderate.

** Move away from the buffet table when socializing.

** Eat your calories instead of drinking them.

Choose your beverages wisely.

Note: Alcohol is high in calories. Moderation is key.

** When you are the host, include nutritious and lower-calorie foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Reduce the fat in holiday recipes.

** Continue a regular exercise program.

** Enjoy good friends and family.

Share |

Holiday tip: mini-size it!

Here is my latest blog post for Huffington Post. You can also read it here.

Happy holidays!

Holiday tip: mini-size it!

Mini-size it! A great way—perhaps the best way—to cut calories is to trim your portion sizes. Especially of foods that are high in calories. That would include many treats you would find at holiday parties and events such as eggnog, specialty hot chocolates, fancy chocolates, and cakes. The good news about using portion control as a way to trim calories is that you do not have to entirely ban your favorite treats and traditional holiday foods. The key to success, especially during the holiday season is “moderation.” If you crave a fattening food, it is ok to treat yourself to a small serving.

A few healthy holiday tips:

  • If you are baking a pie for guests, try cutting it into 10-12 slices instead of 8 slices.
  • If you are baking holiday cookies, bake smaller ones.
  • Buy mini muffin pans so you have them handy so that you can bake mini muffins.
  • If you are cooking potato latkes for Chanukah, make smaller ones, and use less oil.
  • Eat off of smaller plates.
  • Drink out of smaller glasses. Sip wine, for example, out of a smaller wine glass when possible (if entertaining at home, for example) and limit refills. Liquid calories add up quickly.
  • Eyeball serving sizes using common visuals. Three ounces of meat look like a deck of cards, 1/4 cup nuts looks like a golf ball, and two tablespoons of salad dressing fills a shot glass.
  • Use your hand as a guide.  Stick with a portion of meat the size of your palm and your starch (potato or rice) should be around the size of your fist. (Of course healthy veggies, without dressing, can be consumed in generous portions.)

As the quote goes: “If you can half-it, you can have it.” Or, as I write in my book, The Portion Teller Plan, “What kind of sandwich isn’t fattening?: The answer: “a half sandwich.”

Happy holidays!

Enjoy family, friends, and of course moderate portions of your favorite foods.

Share |

Happy–healthy–Thanksgiving

Below is my latest blog post for Huffington Post. You can also read it here:   7 Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving.

With Thanksgiving the start of the holiday season, temptations are all around us, and making healthy and smart food choices can be challenging. However, if you practice portion control along with following some other simple healthy tips, you can enjoy your favorite foods without gaining a pound.

According to the Calorie Control Council, the average American may consume more than 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving day. And that is without breakfast or late-night eating. That number seemed high to Tara Parker Pope from the New York Times, so she conducted her own test. According to her analysis, the average Thanksgiving meal is closer to 2,500 calories.

Regardless of the exact number of calories we consume on the holiday, we probably eat much too much. But we do not have to overeat if we pay attention.

Here are seven tips that I have successfully used with clients for a healthy Thanksgiving.

1. Watch your portion sizes. Fill half your plate with fruits and veggies. Enjoy your favorite holiday treat but take a small portion.

Here a few visuals from my book The Portion Teller Plan to help you eyeball a proper serving so that you don’t overdo it this holiday. If you can stick to these portions, you don’t need to worry about calories. You will not be overdoing it.

• A deck of cards’ worth of turkey is around 3 ounces.
• A golf ball size of gravy is about ¼ cup.
• A golf ball size of cranberry sauce is about ¼ cup.
• A ½ baseball worth of stuffing is around ½ cup.
• A ½ baseball worth of sweet potato is around ½ cup.
• A shot glass worth of salad dressing is around 2 tablespoons.
• It’s okay to enjoy an unlimited portion of nonstarchy vegetables.
• Drink lots of water, too!

2. Think maintenance. Don’t try to diet during the holidays. Try to maintain your current weight. At the very least, now is not a time to begin a diet.

3. Eat before you eat. Enjoy a healthy snack — yogurt, fruit, veggie soup, salad — before a party.

4. Be mindful and make only one trip to the buffet table. Look at all your options before making your final food choices; make sure all the calories you consume are worth it. Choose only the foods you really want and keep your portions moderate.

5. Eat slowly and chew your food well.

6. Exercise. Stick to your exercise routine. If your gym is closed, enjoy a brisk walk with family and friends.

7. Ladies, wear tight-fitting clothes. Men, be sure to keep your belt buckle snug. This will help prevent you from overeating.

Most of all, enjoy family and friends. Have a healthy holiday!

Share |

Healthy holiday tips: Happy 4th!

Below is my latest blog post for Huffington Post to help you have a happy and healthy holiday!
Here is the link. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-lisa-young/health-tips_b_1644929.html

Happy 4th!

Holiday Eating Tips: 10 Ways to Enjoy a Healthy Holiday Season

With summer season upon us and the Fourth of July around the corner, I’ve been helping clients struggle with issues surrounding holiday eating. With Independence Day falling in the middle of the week this year, and not sure which weekend to celebrate (license to overindulge), so many people that I have spoken to have decided to make it a 10-day holiday. Holidays are a time for pleasure and enjoyment, family and friends, and food should be enjoyed during this time. Whether you are going out of town, attending a summer barbecue, having a party on the beach, or just staying at home with your family, follow the principles of moderation.

Here are some tips and tricks so that you can have a healthy holiday season. Enjoy!!

1. Watch portion sizes.

  • Enjoy your favorite holiday treats, but take a small portion.
  • Avoid portion distortion: Moderation is key.
  • Fill up on more fresh fruits and veggies. Follow USDA’s MyPlate guidelines by filling half of your plate with fruits and veggies.

2. Banish your membership in the “clean plate club.”
Leave a few bites over. Ask yourself: Am I hungry?

3. Be realistic about weight loss during the holidays.
Don’t try to diet during the holidays. Try to maintain your current weight. At the very least, now is not a time to begin a diet.

4. Don’t go to a holiday party starving.
Eat before you eat: Enjoy a healthy snack — yogurt, fruit, veggie soup, salad — before your event.

5. Balance party eating with other meals.

6. Don’t skip meals. Make a plan.

7. Make only one trip to the buffet table.
Choose only the foods you really want, and keep your portions moderate.

The good news about buffets is that there will usually be some healthy choices. And so often, there will be a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. My rule of thumb: Do a lap around the buffet and sample the choices before making your selection. Take one plate of food (not five mini-plates), and make sure your plate is not piled so high that food is ready to fall off the plate. Eat until you are comfortably satisfied (and it’s okay to leave a little room for your favorite dessert), and enjoy the company.

And finally, move away from the buffet table when socializing.

8. Eat your calories instead of drinking them.
Choose your beverages wisely. Remember that soda, iced tea, and lemonade all have lots of sugar and calories. Flavored seltzer, water, and unsweetened iced herbal tea are great choices.
And remember that alcohol is also high in calories. Moderation is key. Go for a white wine spritzer or a light beer.

9. Be a healthy host.
When you are the host, include nutritious and lower-calorie foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Reduce the fat in holiday recipes.

10. Continue a regular exercise program.
Swim, take a bike ride, or even walk on the beach. Take advantage of being outdoors and choose an exercise you like. What matters most is that you move!

Finally, enjoy good friends and family.

Happy holidays!

Share |
Visit our Blog lisa.young@nyu.edu © 2017 Dr. Lisa Young