The genius of this particular program is that it does not involve depriving ourselves of anything at holiday meals and parties. Of course, limiting or skipping certain foods can help maintain weight, but it's not fun. These suggestions all involved adding healthy foods to our diet over the six weeks or so of the season. How cool is that? Beginning with fruits and vegetables, they increased one food group each week, the list including lean protein, dairy products, high-fiber foods, and others. The idea is that the more we fill up on good stuff, the less likely we are to go way overboard on other foods. It may not work for everyone, but it helps me--and is more satisfying than worrying over eating less of special holiday foods and then feeling deprived.
The first week, the article advised adding more fruits and vegetables to daily intake--especially vegetables. Although we have all heard this advice before--and many of us do eat several servings of veggies each day--there is always room for more. We eat a variety of fresh fruits and some dried fruits at breakfast and several servings of fresh vegetables with every dinner. However, our lunch is less likely to include vegetables. If you frequently have a salad for lunch, you are way ahead of me--making salad seems like a lot of work during a busy day, and unless I also make a healthful dressing from scratch (more work!), topping the salad reduces its nutritional value.
For us, keeping a platter of cut-up fresh vegetables in the refrigerator simplifies grabbing them for lunch and snacks. I also try to make large batches of stir-fried vegetables, ratatouille, etc. at dinnertime so that there might be leftovers to warm with lunch. The platter in the photo includes a few of our favorites (aren't the colors appealing?). Another favorite treat is jicama, cut into crunchy sticks--give it a try if you are not familiar with its mild, slightly radish-like flavor. Having the platter ready guarantees that we will eat these healthy treats frequently.
Question of the day: Do you have a strategy for controlling weight during the holiday season?