Woo, hoo. The 12 Days of Fitness are back for 2014. First up in our lineup of experts is Dr. Keith Kantor, who gives us easy tips we can use to be more healthy over the holidays. With all the hectic festivities going on, it’s easy to go overboard (or throw our health overboard). After all…it’s only a few days, right? Uhm, not quite. So, without further ado, here are some really simple tips that are really effective. (P.S., tips number 4 and number 8 are my favorites).
HEALTHY HOLIDAY HELPERS
1. Cut down on saturated fat in creamy dressings by mixing in yogurt instead.
2. For a wonderful flavor enhancer, sprinkle roasted vegetables with vinegar or citrus juice. Add it at the last minute so the flavor is at its strongest.
3. Substitute chopped vegetables for some of the bread in your stuffing recipe, this will reduce the amount of carbohydrates in the stuffing therefore reducing the glycemic load.
4. Don’t starve yourself the day of the party so you can fill up on food that evening. If you eat healthy normal meals throughout the day, you’re much less likely to overeat at the party.
5. Remember: The point of holiday gatherings is to celebrate, not to eat. Mingle with friends and loved ones instead of hovering around the buffet table, grab a plate and walk away.
6. Don’t load up at the buffet table. Keep portion sizes small by putting your snacks on a small plate instead of a large one and limiting your trips to the buffet.
7. Prioritize your food choices, if you love sweet potato casserole take a serving of that but skip the stuffing if it is something that you don’t have to have.
8. Present food in various locations all over your home to encourage activities and mingling not just eating.
9. If you are going to drink alcohol alternate the beverages with water, this will keep you hydrated and may curb the increase in appetite from excessive alcohol.
10. Make sure you include protein and vegetables as your appetizers and throughout the main meal. The protein from meat and fiber from the vegetables will keep you feeling full and avoid bingeing on excessive sugars and carbohydrates.
11. When choosing cocktails, aim for non-calorie mixers like sparkling water with the juice or limes or lemons, rather than heavily sweetened juices or syrup based mixers.
12. Remain active throughout the holidays, maintaining lean muscle mass from strength training and cardiovascular activity will help keep your metabolic rate (calories burned at rest) high to offset the extra calories from the holiday treats.
Dr. Kantor has been an advocate of natural food and healthy living for 27 years. In 1994 he was appointed CEO of Service Foods, Inc., the largest all natural food company of its kind in the United States.
Dr. Kantor is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Kaplan University, Masters in Nutritional Science; Ph.D. graduate of Corllins University, Nutritional Science; Doctorate of Science graduate of Corllins University, Naturopathic Medicine. He also holds undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry.
Specialties: The premier doctor correlating nutritional food science with preventing and mitigating disease. Chaired the Natural Products committee requested by Congress on product criteria and label specifications for all natural foods in the United States. Chaired the Blue Ribbon panel requested by Congress on lowering health care costs in the United States.
Dr. Kantor has been an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps since 1976, and still serves in the reserves.