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Tips on Staying Healthy This Holiday Season

Posted Dec. 12, 2011 | Kahley Colaluca
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Exercising can help you stay in shape this holiday season,
says Natalie Caine-Bish, associate professor and dietician
in Kent State's School of Health Sciences.

With the winter months approaching, it is easy to lose track of healthy eating habits and a sound lifestyle.

“Between holiday celebrations and cold, un-motivating weather, a two- to five-pound weight gain is common, and once people gain that weight, they typically don’t lose it after winter,” says Natalie Caine-Bish, associate professor and dietician in Kent State’s School of Health Sciences.

Caine-Bish shares her top five holiday nutrition tips, not just on what you eat, but how you should be eating in the months to come:

  • Never go to a party hungry. Plan ahead as soon as you wake up. If you know you’ll be going to a party later where you might indulge a bit, get your fruits and vegetables in early in the day, and keep it light on the calorie and carbohydrate intake.
  • Be aware of the alcoholic beverages you are consuming. A lot of people do not realize how much sugar, fat and calories are in the beverages alone—not to mention the food they are eating.
  • Bring your favorite healthy holiday trays to every celebration. By doing so, it will give you healthy options that you know you enjoy. Let’s face it, how many holiday celebrations do you attend where fruit plates trump cookie or dessert plates?
  • Be cautious of what’s in your favorite holiday latte. Coffee shops are known for their delicious mint, caramel and gingerbread lattes this time of year. Did you know a Venti Salted Caramel Mocha from Starbucks has 550 calories? Ask for nonfat milk, no whipped cream or no sugar.
  • Make exercising fun. Go sled riding or skiing with your family. Turn these fun activities into a tradition of spending time together.

“Focus on simply maintaining your weight,” Caine-Bish says. “We must remember that holidays are about spending time with our families, not food.”