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Healthy You

Holiday Edition: Healthy Eating Tips from Dietitians

Wednesday, December 06, 2017 8:41 AM

Eating right can be hard, especially during the holidays! There are so many temptations and they seem to be everywhere. With many celebrations and get-togethers coming up, NorthShore dietitians know it can be trying. That is not to say you cannot have the slice of pie, but the dietitians share tips and tricks to help make the holidays a little more balanced.


Start Your Day

“Use low-fat products in place of regular products when cooking your favorite recipes. Some examples: skim milk in place of whole milk, low-fat cheese in place of regular cheese, fat-free sour cream or fat-free Greek yogurt in place of sour cream and low-fat cream in place of regular.”
-Atara Schayer, Registered Dietitian at NorthShore

“Don’t skip breakfast. A lot of people think they can save their calories for the one big meal. It is better to eat breakfast and control your appetite. The holiday dinners tend to be more calorically dense, so having breakfast will help prevent you from overeating.”
-Jessica Hicks, MBA, RD, CDE, Registered Dietitian at NorthShore

“Stay active. If you already have an exercise regimen, don’t stop. Schedule your workouts as an appointment.”
-Marisa Spiegel, RD, LDN, Registered Dietitian at NorthShore

 “Love your cafe latte? Enjoy it and skip the whip. This can save 70 calories and 5 grams of saturated fat!”
- Lori Bumbaco, Oncology Dietitian at NorthShore’s Kellogg Cancer Center

“Holidays can be very stressful with many parties and events to attend. Consider getting some brisk exercise before you shower for a party; exercise will help you relax and help decrease your appetite.”
-Theresa Desai, RD, CDE, Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes Education

“Ensure the party offers at least one guilt-free treat by contributing your favorite healthy dish to the holiday buffet.”
-Marisa Spiegel

Meal Prepping

“Squeeze in fruits and veggies: add diced bell pepper to omelets, halved grape tomatoes to tuna salad, or grapes and diced apples to chicken salad, sautéed mushrooms, bell peppers and onions to pasta. You’ll feel full on fewer calories, and reap the added nutritional value to meals.”
- Lori Bumbaco

“Use smaller plates to help control portions.”
-Atara Schayer

“For appetizers, grab a plate and walk away. Do not hang around the appetizer or dessert table!”
- Jessica Hicks

Fill half your plate with vegetables.”
-Atara Schayer

“Once at the party, get involved in conversation or activities, try to stay away from the bar or snack table. Be aware that alcohol increases appetite and lowers your resolve.”
-Theresa Desai

“Try choosing three, high-calorie foods you really want in smaller portions and devoting the other half of your plate to waistline-friendly choices like fruits and vegetables.”
-Marisa Spiegel

After the Meal

“Add dancing or ‘active’ games after dinner to help burn off extra calories.”
-Jessica Hicks

“Walk with the family to look at holiday lights. Or build snowmen, make snow angels or go sledding. If it hasn’t snowed yet, then rake up the leaves and let the kids jump in them.”
-Marisa Spiegel

Bonus Tip

“Did you overeat at a holiday party or all weekend? Ditch the guilt and leave it behind you. Do not let occasional detours distract your from your wellness goals. Move forward with the total diet approach: it’s not about perfection, it’s what we do most of the time that matters.”
- Lori Bumbaco