Mason Experts Offer Tips for the Holiday Season: Eating Healthy

Posted: December 13, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Rey Banks

The holiday season is in full swing. All the activities – hosting and attending parties, shopping for gifts, cooking and baking, visiting extended family and friends – add to the excitement, as well as the stress, of this time of year. In this four-part series, several George Mason experts offer Gazette readers tips for dealing with both the positive and stressful aspects of the season.

In a season filled with celebration and social gatherings, it can be all too tempting to blow off the diet you have been working on all year. To make sure you stay healthy during the holidays, Lois Durant, nutritionist from George Mason’s Dining Services, stresses moderation and balance. She also offers the following tips:

  • Fill up on healthy fare first – fresh fruits and vegetable platters can be your best options at the buffet table because they’re abundant in fiber, which makes you feel full.

  • Enjoy smaller portions – fried foods, sweets and other high calorie treats don’t have to be off limits.

  • Eat before you leave home – an empty stomach is an invitation to binge at a holiday gathering.

  • Don’t drink your calories – champagne, wine, mixed drinks, spiked eggnog and other alcoholic beverages are heavy on calories and light on nutrients.

  • Go easy on gravy, dips and sauces – one tablespoon of gravy made from turkey drippings can contain up to 70 calories. The same goes for creamy dips, salad dressings and cheesy sauces.

  • Be realistic – don’t try to lose weight during the holidays. Instead, maintain your weight by balancing party eating with other meals.

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