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No Need to Buy New Pants! Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating

Renee Eder on Monday, December 15, 2014

Planning for eight crazy nights of chocolate gelt, noodle kugel, and fried latkes (potato pancakes) with sour cream? Can't stop at just one latke? The holiday season is a time to celebrate with family and friends. Unfortunately, for many it also becomes a time for over-indulging and weight gain. According to the National Institutes of Health, holiday eating can result in an extra pound or two every year. Over a lifetime, it really adds up. How can we enjoy the holidays, while staying healthy?

  • Modify your food: According to Weight Watchers, baked latkes are just as crunchy as fried ones and go much better with the traditional condiment of applesauce. Shredded zucchini also makes delicious veggie pancakes. For kugel, they recommend you try chopped broccoli and whole wheat pasta, for a much healthier, savory version.
  • Plan time for exercise: Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain. A moderate and daily increase in exercise can help partially offset increased holiday eating. Try a class at the J or 20-30 minutes in the weight room/on the treadmill three times a week.
  • Fill up on healthy snacks: Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack like raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to curb your appetite. You will be less tempted to over-indulge.
  • Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed: Savor your favorite holiday treats while eating small portions. Sit down, get comfortable, and enjoy.
  • Drink in moderation: Alcohol can lessen inhibitions and induce overeating; non-alcoholic beverages can be full of calories and sugar.
  • Take the focus off food: Turn cookie making time into non-edible Chanukah projects like making dreidel snow globes or painted wine bottle menorahs. Plan group activities with family and friends that aren’t all about food.
  • Bring your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering: Bring a salad or something light and healthy like a bowl of fruit that can be your go to if everything else is high in calories, fat, or carbohydrates.

Give the gift of health and wellness this holiday season! If you’ve been looking to get back into shape, want to add some new challenges to your current workout routine, are recovering from an injury, or still thinking of what to get for your family and friends, a gift membership to the J or Personal Training gift certificates make a fantastic holiday gift! To learn more about purchasing a membership to the J for yourself or for a friend, click here. To purchase a Personal Training Gift Certificate, please contact or call 703.537.3052.

We wish you a happy and healthy holiday!

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