Here are some well-timed snack tips from Ashleigh Gurtler, AADP Certified Holistic Health Coach and FitEngine contributor.
When you’re at a holiday party, try these staples that won’t cause a Santa-sized belly:
- When faced with the cheese platter, opt for Mozzarella cheese. It has more protein and less fat than most varieties and sports 85 calories per ounce.
- Hummus, 2 Tablespoons for 60 calories, packs lots of fiber and protein. Make an even smarter choice by pairing it with fresh, raw veggies rather than pita chips for added fiber and less calories.
- If you’ve got a variety of dips to choose from, pick the salsa. The main ingredients-tomatoes, peppers and lime- are all packed with vitamins A and C, fiber and are low-calorie. Just limit the amount of chips, even if they’re baked, to one small handful, or about 10 chips.
- Shrimp cocktail is a great choice because it’s pure protein and minimal fat and is loaded with zinc. Just limit yourself when it comes to the cocktail sauce; it can be loaded with added sugar. Try dipping them in the salsa instead.
Try to avoid these party foods whenever possible:
- Spinach and artichoke dip: Spinach and artichokes are great, healthy veggies, but once you add in cream cheese, sour cream and sometimes even mayonnaise, you’re up to 220 calories and 22 grams of fat in one ¼ cup serving. And that’s before the tortilla chips: add in five of those and you’re up to 307!
- Pigs in a blanket: Sure they look cute, but these little dogs have about 5 grams of fat and 70 calories a piece. Doesn’t sound so bad at first, but who can have just one? The average person has at least three, and if you’ve already visited the bar, you’re likely up to 350 calories!
- Mixed Nuts: Yes nuts are good for you, but only if you keep your portions in check. A small handful, or about ¼ cup, or mixed nuts contains around 340 calories. You’ll also load up on salt and fat which can make you feel bloated and full before you’ve even sat down to dinner.
Wear something form fitting, not too tight or revealing, but something snug so you’ll notice more quickly when you’ve reached your indulgence limit.
What do you do if you do go a little overboard?
Even if you indulged more than you intended to at that holiday party (who could stay those homemade canapés?), don’t starve yourself as punishment. If you deprive yourself, you’re setting yourself up for overeating all over again. Start your day with a high-fiber breakfast, like oatmeal or bran cereal with fruit. Get some exercise and be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Load up on foods that have a high H2O content, like cucumbers and celery, and contain potassium, like bananas and apricots, to flush out toxins. Try to avoid salty foods, like pickles and frozen meals, they’ll just keep you feeling bloated.
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