skip to content

TWU offers diet tips for a healthy holiday season

DENTON — Experts at the Texas Woman’s University Institute for Women’s Health say there are ways to enjoy the holidays without wreaking havoc on your waistline.

“With a little bit of planning and creativity you can still enjoy holiday meals without gaining too much weight during the holidays,” said Carolyn Rogan, coordinator for the Exercise and Sports Nutrition Clinic at the TWU Institute for Women’s Health.

Ms. Rogan says you shouldn’t go to Thanksgiving dinner or another big holiday meal or celebration hungry. Eat a wholesome breakfast or lunch to avoid overeating at the big holiday meal.

 “We often eat faster and more when we are hungry,” she said.

She also advises that you fill your plate half with vegetables, one quarter with a lean meat and the rest with a starch of your choice.

 “Eat slowly and stop when you are full. You should take the time to enjoy every mouthful,” she said.

As for what to eat, she has the following recommendations:
• Turkey — go skinless. Choose a 4-oz skinless turkey portion to slash away some fat and cholesterol. Save your appetite for the side dishes and desserts.
• Side dishes — watch your portion size. Go for smaller portions. This way you can sample all the different foods. Moderation is always the key.
• Make a conscious choice to limit high fat items. High fat food items can be found in fried and creamy dishes as well as cheese-filled casseroles in a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Mashed potatoes are usually made with butter and milk; green bean casseroles are often prepared with cream of mushroom soup, cheese and milk and topped with fried onions; candied yams are loaded with cream, sugar and marshmallows. If you cannot control the ingredients that go in to a dish, simply limit yourself to a smaller helping size.
• Drink plenty of water. Alcohol and coffee can dehydrate your body. Drink plenty of water to help fill up your stomach and keep you hydrated.
• Veggies are your friend. Not only are veggies naturally low fat, low-cal and chock-full of nutrients, they help you feel fuller longer than other types of foods. By filling up on veggies, you will be filling up on fiber. This will cause your stomach to feel fuller, and you will have a greater sense of satisfaction throughout the day, which will help you stay on track. Eating raw veggies as snacks, appetizers, in salads, and side dishes is a great way to keep both your waistline and appetite in check. Just be careful of full-fat dips, or adding butter or sour cream, and avoid fried veggies or cream soup- or cheese-based vegetable casseroles.
• Socialize away from the food. Don’t hang out near the food. This will help prevent unconscious nibbling.
• Avoid grazing while you cook. These little nibbles can really add up! When it’s time to eat, sit down and savor it.

Media Contact:

Amanda Simpson
Director of Media Relations

page updated 11/12/2015 5:12 PM