Posts Tagged ‘holiday eating’

Experiencing FOHO? Fear of the Holidays

hanukkah-2-fbDo you experience stress hosting that annual dinner party, seeing those long-lost relatives, or fear of gaining weight with it all?

It is true that the holidays can make it more difficult to manage all of life’s responsibilities including weight management. Pressure of weight loss can add to your stress level during the holiday. Perhaps your holiday weight goal this year should be to maintain your current weight. Don’t let the holidays set you back. Creating a realistic and attainable goal can set you up for success.

Here are several tips that can help you fight your food FOHO:

  • PLAN ahead— Be sure to plan how you will eat at the holidays in a way that works best for you. The more you prepare, the easier it will be to succeed at weight maintenance through the holidays. Don’t throw in the towel to just start over again in January 1.
  • Use a smaller plate at holiday parties. This creates the illusion of having more than you really are consuming.
  • You CAN leave the table if your plate is not clean. Try to eat slower at meal times to allow your body to send “fullness” signals to your brain to avoid overeating.
  • Eat only the dishes and treats you know you won’t get any other time of the year. Don’t waste calories on store bought items that you can get anytime. Savor the moment!
  • At dinner parties, sip on a non-alcoholic drink, like seltzer with lime so that one of your hands is occupied holding a drink rather than reaching for food. **Steer as clear as you can from alcohol, especially those creamy eggnog drinks that are loaded with unwanted calories.
  • Watching the big game? Throw a football outside with your family or friends during halftime.
  • Watch your portions and don’t over indulge. **Remember the first bite tastes the best.
  • Do some research. Check out which traditional holiday dishes have less calories. For instance, pumpkin pie tends to have less calories than other desserts.
  • Look to make healthy substitutions when making your holiday dish. Try using plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, or applesauce in place of oil or butter.
  • Lastly, don’t SAVE UP your calories. It’s a bad idea to starve yourself all day until the big holiday dinner. Why? You will likely eat too much and consume too many calories.

You don’t have to fear the holidays in terms of weight gain. If you know your triggers that lead to overindulgence and follow these tips where fit, it’ll make for an easier, more joyful NEW YEAR!

Healthy Eating Substitutions During the Holidays

Winter months are a time when food becomes the center of attention: Christmas, Chanukah, and New Years. Food weighs heavy on everyone’s mind, and unfortunately many times it ends up weighing heavy on our stomachs. We want to serve the dish that keeps everyone coming back for seconds. Unfortunately, these seasonal dishes tend to be high in sugar, fat, and salt if we aren’t mindful while we cook. But did you know that with the right resources, we can “revive” our recipes from the “nutrition grave”? Swapping some of the les
s healthy ingredients for more nutritious options can cut back on calories, fat, sodium, and sugar, all while maintaining that same tasty flavor.

Many of our favorite holiday dishes are “empty calories,” meaning they are high in calories and low in nutrients. However, there are simple food substitutes that can bring our favorite dishes back from the “nutrition grave.” For example, did you know you can use applesauce in place of butter in baked goods? This is a great alternative for desserts because it reduces the fat content while adding natural sweetness. Mashed bananas or avocado can also be alternatives to butter when baking. Sneaking whole grains into your meals is easy during the holidays as well. Try adding quinoa to your Christmas stuffing, or serving mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. The table below lists more simple and easy cooking swaps to increase the nutrient value of your meals.

bariatrics holiday eating

Making just a few small substitutions can make a big difference. We challenge you to make just one healthy cooking swap this holiday season. This will get you ready for the new year and beyond.

For more information or questions about weight loss services offered at Emory Healthcare, call 404-778-7777 or visit