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Smart Tips for Holiday Eating

December 11, 2018

New Brunswick, N.J. – With the holidays here, a few meaningful changes to dietary habits and typical eating routine could payoff in avoiding unwanted weight gain.

The relationship between diet, weight and disease has been well-established. According to the 2018 Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: a Global Perspective (the Third Expert Report), 12 types of cancers are linked to being overweight including ovarian, breast, prostate and pancreatic cancers.

Stay in control of your eating this holiday season by considering the following:.

  • Stop eating when you start to become satisfied, not stuffed.
  • Allow yourself to eat what you really desire, but portion it out. Decide this prior to eating.
  • Avoid going to a party or holiday dinner starving, as it will be very challenging to control eating and make sound eating decisions. Eat before going.
  • You do not have to finish the portion on your plate. Leaving a little left on the plate can be powerful.
  • Make room for vegetables. Fill your plate first with fruit and vegetables, which will leave a smaller spot for the less healthy foods.
  • Keep up with exercise. Do not cross it off the list over the holidays. If you do not have an exercise routine, it is a good time to start one. Target specific days to exercise.

Other simple tips include swapping when possible:

  • Swap sour cream with regular or Greek yogurt.
  • Swap pasta with spiralized vegetables like zucchini, yellow squash or beets.
  • Swap mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower.
  • Swap cheese-based or creamy dips with yogurt or hummus.
  • Swap pies at dessert with roasted or grilled fruit.

    Remember, all of these small changes can really add up and help you remain on track with your dietary goals, not only for the holidays but all year round.

    Lori Magoulas, PhD, RD is a registered dietitian/nutritionist at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

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