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5 tips to keeping holiday healthy

Holiday season is approaching and between parties and family gatherings, and eating healthy can be tricky. Ensure all the extra stuffing is reserved for the turkey. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

Holiday season is approaching and between parties and family gatherings, and eating healthy can be tricky. Ensure all the extra stuffing is reserved for the turkey. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

Holiday season is approaching and between parties and family gatherings, keeping your plate healthy can be tricky. Here are five steps to ensure all the extra stuffing is reserved for the turkey.

  1. Bring healthy dishes to parties.

Are you worried the event you will be attending will be overflowing with greasy foods? Bring a fruit or vegetable platter to ensure you have a healthy option to snack on, rather than jumping on the gravy boat.

For those who have questions on what is considered unhealthy, Health Promotions (previously known as the Health and Wellness Center) offers free appointments with a registered dietitian.

  1. Stay Active during the holidays.

As the weather gets colder, people tend to “hibernate” in their homes. Don’t let yourself fall into this pattern! Health Promotions offers Vital 90, a high-intensity, group fitness program held at the fitness center. Classes are held at various times of the day, making it more accessible to fit into any busy schedule.

  1. Manage portion sizes of food.

It’s not rocket science that less food fits on a smaller plate. In one study conducted at the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, even nutrition experts served themselves 31-percent more ice cream when using oversized bowls compared with smaller bowls. By using the small plate method, you limit your intake based on the fact that the food physically cannot fit on the plate.

“Being nutritionally fit is like preventative maintenance,” said Jill Hinsley, 19th Aerospace Medicine Squadron registered dietitian. “Your body acts like a machine. The type of nutrition you put into your body is going to directly relate to the output. If you put junk into your system you’re going to get junk out.”

  1. Drink a full glass of water before every meal.

According to a 2008 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, drinking a couple glasses of water 20-to 30-minutes before eating reduces caloric intake by as much as 75 calories. Water can make your stomach feel full. If you drink water before lunch and dinner every day, you could potentially reduce your caloric intake by 150 calories per day. In one year, this can result in more than 14 pounds of weight loss.

  1. Eat a snack before you attend an event.

Arriving to an event on an empty stomach may encourage you to consume more than normal. By consuming a small, healthy snack, you are less likely to indulge.

For more information on Health Promotions, visit them at the fitness center or call (501) 987-7288.