Healthy Eating

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Beantown’s Best

Forget that calorie-packed clam chowder. Forgo that lethal Boston cream pie. Boston’s newest culinary attractions serve up a healthy and light fare, using a myriad of vegetarian, organic and raw ingredients. From ethnic-vegetarian to raw foods delights, many restaurants now offer a healthful yet tasty alternative to diners.

Reviews of health-conscious restaurants are popping up in papers all over town, and loyal clients are proving that healthy eating isn’t just a passing phenomenon.

Go Vegetarian

Several Boston-area eateries boast vegetarian and vegan menus. Country Life, an unlimited vegetarian buffet in the heart of Boston’s Financial District, features a variety of menu items that change daily. 200 High Street, Boston, MA. 617-951-2534.

From veggie burgers to “tofu teriyaki” to vegetarian tacos and enchiladas, the buffet features several hot dishes and an extensive salad bar. Prefect for a quick lunch that’s bound to please everyone, Country Life is affordable at $7 for lunch and $8 for dinner. Also try their Sunday brunches, offering “tofu scrambles” and whole wheat waffles.

Veggie Planet in Harvard Square serves up vegetarian pizzas that delight herbivore clients everywhere. This cozy eatery has all types of pizza toppings, including curried sweet potatoes, grilled cheese and broccoli, and even a Thai-style creation featuring coconut rice, peanuts and tofu. The menu also includes soups, salads, “real meals on rice,” and desserts. The fare is reasonable—under $6 for lunch and around $10 for dinner. An added plus: Veggie Planet has live music on most nights. See healthy vegetarian recipes here.

Organic and Ethnic Options

For an all-natural treat, try the Organic Garden Restaurant and Juice Bar in Beverly, which sports a vegan menu; its dishes entirely made with raw organic products. Organic Garden’s selections include innovative falafel, scores of rich smoothies, and even lasagna and ravioli—made without the processed pasta, of course. Chef Robert Reid boasts a menu that’s free of wheat, dairy products, and unhealthy fats. Dishes run between $10-14, while appetizers go for $4-7 and desserts are $3-5. Smoothies and treats from the Juice Bar (a must-try!) cost between $4-5. The restaurant also offers an extensive organic catering menu. 294 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA. 978-922-0004.

Healthy eating has been extended to some of Boston’s ethnic restaurants as well. Several restaurants are experimenting with vegetarian dishes and lighter fare, adding new items to their menus in an effort to satisfy customers seeking a healthy meal. In addition, newly opened ethnic vegetarian/ethnic vegan eateries are becoming increasingly popular.

Buddha’s Delight in Chinatown serves up authentic Chinese and Vietnamese dishes—vegan style, without the use of animal byproducts. The meatless meals are made with innovative meat substitutes, and include such favorites as lo-mein made with tofu, wonton soup and several stir-fry dishes. Dinners run between $6-14 and the menu is extensive and convincing—it is sure to please even those who prefer traditional Chinese food. 3 Beach Street, Boston, MA. 617-451-2395.

Masalaa in Billerica is an Indian vegetarian restaurant, offering a variety of rice dishes and meatless entrees in a plethora of sauces, for just under $9. Masalaa carries a great deal of breads, rice cakes and Indian pancakes, as well as fresh juice and milk drinks. The restaurant prides itself on its dedication to preserving the individual culinary authenticity of the many states of India through the use of genuine Indian spices and flavors in a healthy environment. 786 Boston Road, Billerica, MA. 978-667-3443.

Healthy Escapes

And if a simple healthy dinner isn’t enough, why not try a whole weekend of health? The Shady Hollow Inn in South Dennis is a great place for cozy Cape Cod weekends, as well as vegetarian and vegan eating. The Inn offers healthy breakfasts, dinners and picnics, made with organic ingredients whenever possible. In addition to healthy food, the Shady Hollow Inn also provides plenty of opportunity for exercise, with kayaks and bicycles available for rent and scenic trails for walks and hikes. 370 Main Street, South Dennis, MA. 508-394-7474.

Fiending for a healthy eating excursion? There are various happenings dedicated to honoring the vegetarian lifestyle and healthy eating. The Boston Vegetarian Society sponsors an annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival, which boasts natural food exhibitions and cooking demonstrations, food tastings, and free consultations with nutritionists. The Festival is a wonderful day for exploring some of Beantown’s healthy eating options.

The Boston Vegetarian Society, which was founded to promote and educate about vegetarianism, also schedules a plethora of healthy-eating activities year round, including cooking classes, social dinners, and even discussions on raising vegetarian children. P.O. Box 38-1071, Cambridge, MA 02238-1071. 617-424-8846.

With a number of great restaurants offering vegetarian, organic, and raw choices, it is easier than ever to follow a healthful diet when dining out in Boston. So don’t get those too-rich baked beans opt for some bean curd instead!

Enjoying the Holidays Without Overindulging

For those watching their waistlines, the holiday season can be a truly stressful time. However, there’s some good news—most people don’t gain as much during that time as they might think. But, the bad news is that the weight gained during the festive season turns into an unwanted gift that can’t be returned.

Researchers from the National Institutes of Health and the Medical University of South Carolina studied 195 people and found that nearly a year later 85 percent of the participants still had not lost that extra weight. That means that even if you only gain two pounds during the holidays, that if you consistently do that year after year you’ll be 10 pounds heavier in just five years! The study also found that overweight and obese participants gained the most weight during the holiday study compared to others.

Don’t worry, it’s not necessary to hibernate during the festivities in order to avoid packing on the pounds. There are reasonable ways to alter your behavior so that you can still enjoy yourself without becoming an unofficial member of the holiday weight gainers club.

Strive for five-a-day.

Ensure that you eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. They contain fewer calories then most other foods and far more nutrients. Plus, since they often are high in fiber they help make you fill full. So, promise yourself that before you’ll indulge in any holiday “goodies” you’ll first eat your five-a-day.

Allow indulgences but limit them.

Preferably, permit yourself to have one cookie or one piece of cake per day. But, no more than that. That doesn’t mean you have to have a goodie every day and it also doesn’t give you free reign to eat two servings one day because you didn’t eat any the day before. Stick to your limits. And, remember that even just one indulgence a day may require you to reduce your calorie intake somewhere else or burn extra calories.

Give yourself an early gift.

Make it a priority to do some type of physical activity every day, no matter how short. Exercise is a major factor in both preventing weight gain and losing weight. Schedule your exercise times on your calendar and don’t let anything brush them aside. Taking care of yourself is the best gift you can give.

Spend less time in the kitchen.

Cooking and baking for the holidays is a very enjoyable experience for many but is it really necessary to bake dozens of the most high calorie deserts? Try finding some baking and cooking alternatives that still allow for the fun of kitchen time with family and friends but are more nutritious.

Keep it in perspective.

Overeating at one meal is not going to be the cause of a permanent weight gain. But, if you use that as an excuse “I’ve already sabotaged my day anyway.”, then it could lead to a snowball effect. Don’t allow it to stop you from exercising that day or the next or give you an excuse to overeat all day long.

Don’t over extend yourself.

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind. You may have offers for business parties, family gatherings, neighborhood socializing, school functions, etc. It’s okay to say no to some of them. If you commit to too many events, it’s easy to get stressed. And, stress often leads to bad food choices and abandonment of workouts. Not to mention that some research has indicated that some stress can actually cause weight gain.

Go to the back of the line.

When at a party with a buffet, allow others to hit the food table first. It’s likely that many of the most enticing (and calorie heavy) foods may be gone before you get your plate, thus eliminating some of your temptations.

See Our 10 Day Diet Plan Healthy Recipes.

Healthy Restaurant Dining

Dining out is a necessity for many families. Finding time to cook between soccer practice and the junior high band concert is impossible. Parents working overtime at their jobs ease their time crunch by bringing take out home for dinner. It’s a way to cope with hectic schedules, yes, but families also dine out to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, good report cards and raises.

Another phenomenon has arisen alongside the increased number of meals eaten out: obesity of children, teens and adults is continuing to climb. There is no need for the two to go hand-in-hand, whether picking up fast food or sitting down to a four-course meal served by tuxedo-clad waitstaff, there are ways to keep to a healthy diet.

1. Limit or avoid visits to fast food restaurants.

The temptation to pick up burgers and fries once in a while isn’t inherently bad; it’s the size of what you order, and the frequency of visits, that make or break a healthy eating plan. If you cannot or do not wish to, avoid fast food, keep visits to once a week at most. Order the smallest size fries as a treat, ignore the ice cream or shakes, and order a simple one-patty burger, or grilled chicken sandwich. If you have very active teens who need more sustenance, encourage them to add a salad to their small sandwich and kid-sized fries. Choose milk, not soft drinks, for beverages. Ordering sandwiches or subs from a deli can be much healthier when you limit yourself to one cheese or meat and load up on the veggies. Choose mustard over mayo and skip the chips.

2. Read restaurants menus for hints on what to order, and make friends with the staff.

Chefs tempt us through the restaurant menus. Look for hidden fats and calories. Avoid buttery hollandaise and béarnaise sauces, garlic and oil on pasta, cream or cheese sauces on beef, vegetables or eggs. While they all add flavor, they all hike the calories of each entree. Choose entrees that rely on fruit coulis, wine reductions, and mushroom sauce made with beef juices. These sauces pack taste without breaking down your resolutions to eat well. Family restaurants may even have notations by the menu items identifying low-fat, or hearth healthy meals. More expensive restaurants have better educated staffs that can answer your questions about sauces, portion sizes and side dishes. Make friends with your waiter who will be your sole advocate in the kitchen when you wish to have substitutions or specially prepared food served to your table. Encourage your children to order their entrees from the appetizer menu: steamed clams, shrimp cocktail, vegetable and dip platters, cheese and fruit plates, big salads (dressing on the side, please) and bowls of bean soup or vegetable stew are filling and healthful.

3. Skip the fried foods. This sounds obvious but can be tricky.

Even when you order a seafood platter to be broiled, it will arrive with a broiled fish fillet but breaded and fried shrimps, scallops and clams. Stopping in for lunch? Ask if the chips that come with every sandwich, or the fries that come with each burger can be substituted with a small side salad, applesauce or raw vegetables. An alternative is to hold the chips on two out of three lunches and share the pile of chips between three people.

4. Cut the fat and satisfy craving for flavor.

Rotisserie chicken, prime rib served au jus, slow pit-cooked pork and roasted turkey are all moist, tender meats with the flavor of herbs infused throughout. Where’s the fat? Not here. Look for non-meat entrees: chile stuffed with cheese and baked in an egg batter, eggplant, grains cooked in vegetable broth and mixed with steamed vegetables, smoked tofu on whole grain bread, and fruit salads provide solid nutrition for growing children and are becoming mainstream at family restaurants.

5. Order from children’s menus.

Ask questions first, though, for many of the items on children’s menus are not made in the kitchen. Instead they come prepared from the restaurant supplier. A regular diet of individual cheese pizzas, chicken tenders, and fried mozzarella sticks are not the healthiest choice for children. The pluses of children’s menu are small servings, low prices and food children adore. Embrace the children’s menu if you can order dishes like spaghetti with marinara sauce, small hamburger patty, stir fry vegetables or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

6. Healthier portions for everybody:share with your child.

It’s worth an extra plate fee to be able to cut back on your own over-sized entree and give a portion to your child. It’s also a wonderful way for you to introduce your favorite foods to your children. If this doesn’t appeal to you, and your child still wants a full-sized entree (or if they are teens and can eat a full-sized entree) you can cut the entree in half, and as for a take-home box to keep the food for another meal.

7. Explore ethnic restaurants.

Continental cuisine, down home Southern cooking, roadside barbecue pits, and hot dogs at the ball games have their delicious place in our culture, but if you are looking for an experience in dining to share with your family that won’t harm their health, go ethnic. Indian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and African restaurants provide highly seasoned dishes for those craving flavor. Curried lentils, roasted vegetables, cooling yogurt sauces, meats used sparingly to accent entrees, sharp cheese and lots of vegetables – all promise exciting flavor and a healthy alternative.

8. Celebrating? Break your healthy rules once in a while, and your children won’t feel deprived.

Go ahead and splurge, but try to limit each person to two courses, three if one is a salad.. Pay attention to what is in each course. A creamy seafood bisque for an appetizer plus a salad with dressing on the side and roasted chicken with steamed vegetables is a better choice than fried vegetables, Chicken Parmesan with butter garlic pasta and chocolate-fudge layer cake. If planning on a dessert, skip the appetizer (unless someone wants the appetizer as their main dish) and suggest splitting desserts.

9. Plan ahead before leaving home to go to any restaurant.

If your destination is the local diner and you know what is on the menu, discuss what the children might order and steer them toward a ham and cheese on rye with lettuce and tomato or a vegetable omelette. If it is a new restaurant and you are not sure what will be available, investigate the restaurant’s website, or call the restaurant and ask them to either fax a copy of the menu or to answer your questions about healthy options on their menu.

10. Go vegetarian! What a great idea.

Vegetarian children enjoy healthful meals easily when dining out. Most cuisines have vegetarian specialties; ovo-lacto vegetarians, vegetarians that eat dairy and eggs, have a wider variety to choose from. Warming pintos and rice topped with cheese and lettuce, spicy tofu and kidney bean chile with cornbread, vegetable burgers loaded with fresh lettuce and tomatoes, bean cassoulets seasoned with fresh herbs and colored with red peppers and orange carrots, eggplant parmesan, and pepper-squash ratatouille.

Entering the ‘drive-thru’ lane or being greeted by a formal maitre d’ need not create a feeling of defeat when it comes to your children’s healthy eating. Stay informed, know what to look for on menus and sharing portions will keep you and your family healthy despite time pressures and family celebration obligations. See our healthy recipes here.

10 Nutrition Resolutions to Consider

It’s an American tradition. Every January 1st, people make New Year’s Resolutions. Whether it’s exercising more, eating more vegetables, or losing weight, health and nutrition resolutions often top the list. What will you change this year? For some timely ideas, here are ten nutrition resolutions to consider this year.

1. Slow Down and Eat

Experts are blaming the growing obesity epidemic on many factors, including fast food, dwindling family dinners and hectic lifestyles that seem to leave little time for eating healthy and exercising. Welcome the Slow Food Movement, an organization created by people passionate about the physical and emotional benefits of slowing down to enjoy life with family and friends.

The organization boasts 277,000 members in 68 countries, including 40,000 in Slow Food’s birthplace of Italy.

Slow Food’s recipe is to combine slowing down with food traditions. For a nourishing and enriching 2004, try some Slow Food ideas:

  • As often as possible, eat home cooked meals with family and friends
  • Cook from scratch more often, using fresh ingredients rather than boxed or canned foods
  • Establish or reclaim family traditions at mealtimes
  • Create a calm, pleasant mealtime atmosphere
  • Turn off the TV during meals
  • Savor the flavor of your food
  • Linger over meals with conversation and companionship

2. Eat Your Greens…and Reds and Purples

Many people have memories of their mother or grandmother reminding them to eat their greens. Experts now recommend eating reds, yellows, purples and whites too!

The color in fruits and vegetables comes from natural plant compounds called phytochemicals. You may be familiar with some of these—lutein from greens, lycopene from tomatoes, and beta-carotene from carrots. Interestingly, the main role of phytochemicals is to protect the plant. In turn, these protective factors benefit the person who eats the plant. Phytochemicals can help prevent disease, retard aging and improve immunity.

For a fun and healthy New Year’s Resolution, choose foods from each “color group” daily:

  • Deep reds or bright pink (raspberries, red peppers, tomatoes, watermelon)
  • Greens (spinach, broccoli, honeydew, kiwi)
  • Yellows/Oranges (carrots, mango, pineapple, corn)
  • Blues/Purples (blueberries, eggplant, figs, blackberries)
  • Whites (onion, garlic, cauliflower, bananas)

For a more extensive list of color groups, go to the 5 a Day website, sponsored by the Product for Better Health Foundation.

3. Move Over Rice and Pasta

For many Americans, favorite grains include white rice, pasta, flour tortillas and white bread. Although in moderation any of these foods can be part of a healthy diet, as diet staples they have shortfalls. First, they are low in fiber. This is a problem because, according to the American Dietetic Association, the average American gets less than half of their fiber quota daily. Second, many nutrients are lost in the processing. While certain vitamins and minerals are returned in the enrichment process, most disease-fighting phytochemicals are lost forever.

This year, give your diet a facelift by adding more high fiber grains. Brown rice, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, bran cereal, whole wheat tortillas, and 100 percent whole wheat bread are well known options. If you’re the adventurous type, try the less common and even more nutritious millet, quinoa, triticale, bulgur, barley or wheat berries.

4. Go Nuts

For over a decade, nutrition research has been glowing about nuts. Eating several small servings of nuts a week reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Although nuts contain a high percentage of fat, the majority is unsaturated fat—the heart healthy fat that lowers the LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels. Nuts are also packed with nutrients such as fiber, vitamin E, magnesium and other phytochemicals.

If you have shunned fat-laden nuts due to weight concerns, here’s some good news. Studies have shown that nuts in moderation aren’t a deterrent to weight loss. In fact, since nuts curb hunger better than some low fat snacks, including nuts in your diet may actually help you eat less!

5. Drink Milk for Weight Loss

For decades, people were told to drink milk for strong bones. In recent years, dairy products have also been found to improve blood pressure, reduce the risk of diabetes and protect against certain types of cancer. Now a growing body of research links consumption of calcium-rich milk, yogurt and cheese to a lower risk of obesity. This latest research points to a benefit beyond calcium, since dairy products were found to be more effective than calcium supplements.

Of course, milk products are high in cholesterol-raising saturated fat. So the best dairy choices are nonfat or skim milk, nonfat yogurt, and low-fat or nonfat cheese.

6. Make Your Food Work for You

When a food offers a benefit beyond basic nutrition, it is often called a “functional food.” This term is often used when a food provides a specific benefit, such as the gastrointestinal benefits of yogurt or the cholesterol-lowering properties of soy. Functional foods also include foods that have been modified to improve health. Calcium fortified juice or breakfast cereal with added flax are examples.

Expect more functional foods to hit the grocery shelves in 2004. While not all of these products will live up to their hype, nutrition-savvy consumers can give their diets a boost by taking advantage of this booming area of nutrition.

7. Spice it up for Health

Add a little spice to your New Year and get healthy in the process! Although the role of spices is to flavor foods, their benefits stretch far beyond the taste buds. Spices can help manage or prevent disease. Experts believe that herbs and spices are often as rich in health-promoting substances as fruits and vegetables. Here’s a look at some common spices and their benefits:

  • Cinnamon helps diabetes. A recent study reported in Diabetes Care showed that as little as ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon daily helps people with diabetes lower their blood sugars and cholesterol levels.
  • Chili powder contains capsaicin, a phytochemical with potential cancer-fighting benefits. It’s also a great source of the antioxidant beta-carotene.
  • Coriander, cumin, tumeric, rosemary and ginger also contain phytochemicals with cancer fighting properties.
  • Garlic, onion, allspice, oregano and thyme were found by Cornell researchers to be potent bacterial killers.

8. Say No to Extremes

All too often, people opt for extreme diet changes. They give up entire food groups, or they choose a trendy diet that’s so rigid or monotonous, they can’t stick with it more than a few days. The deprivation caused by extreme dieting often leads to overeating and failure.

The best way to make diet changes is to start small. Identify one or two changes to make and get started. Maybe it’s eating more vegetables at dinner, or replacing that afternoon candy bar with fruit. Each week, evaluate your progress. Add more changes when ready. Eventually, your diet will be transformed. This “small step” method takes commitment and patience, but over time the rewards can be improved self-confidence, a healthier body, and the sweet taste of success.

9. Indulge Once in a While

Speaking of extremes, few people have perfect eating habits. Instead of aiming for perfection, allow an occasional treat for a more realistic and successful approach. The good news is that some of these treats can have health benefits of their own. Chocolate is a perfect example.

Cocoa beans are rich in flavonoids, an antioxidant that makes cholesterol less likely to build up in the arteries. Among chocolates, dark chocolate and cocoa have the highest flavonoid concentration. Other recent studies have linked dark chocolate to improved blood pressure and a reduction in harmful blood clotting activity.

So the next time you crave a little chocolate, don’t do it. (Feel guilty, that is.) In moderation, it may be good for you.

10. Go Mediterranean

For years, research has identified the Mediterranean-style diet as a heart healthy approach to eating. This diet contains plenty of vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts and cereals, as well as moderate amounts of fish and dairy products, small amounts of red meat, and typically wine with meals. Olive oil is used regularly.

To understand how healthy adults benefit from this way of eating, researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Athens studied a population of over 22,000 adults in Greece. They used a 10-point scale to assess adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet. Researchers found that for every 2 point rise on the adherence scale, the risk of overall death dropped by 25 percent, the risk of death from heart disease dropped 33 percent and the risk of cancer dropped 24 percent.

Of interest, the researchers deemed the whole diet more responsible for the health benefits than any particular food. While many individual foods are thought to have risks and benefits, diet patterns and the overall diet are a more important focus. This may be the most important nutrition theme to carry into 2004—to eat more of the best and less of the rest.

How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

This holiday season don’t be trendy—avoid the Seasonal Seven (the average weight most Americans gain between Thanksgiving and New Year’s). That’s one trend you don’t want to participate in!

Since the holidays are traditionally a time for fun and indulgence, you probably prefer not to think about fitness between Thanksgiving and the New Year. Don’t worry! The festivities don’t have to be eliminated or avoided. You can have a fabulous time while also maintaining your weight and your fitness regimen.

Moderation is the secret to achieving a fun and also healthy holiday season. There are two typical approaches to the seasonal festivities: 1) throw all healthy habits out the window and indulge in every guilty pleasure 2) starve and binge approach (for example, you eat nothing all day long to allow yourself to overindulge in party food). Of course, neither approach is successful at maintaining a healthy, fit lifestyle throughout the holiday season.

As mentioned above, the key is found in moderation. With a moderate approach both to what you eat (or don’t eat) and how much exercise you do (or don’t do), you can avoid packing on extra weight AND also partake in all the fun of the season. So this season, get a head start on the New Year instead of starting January with extra pounds to lose.

Here are some tips to help you during those hectic holiday weeks:

1. Create a plan ahead of time.

Before the holidays sneak up on you, create a plan for incorporating fitness and good nutrition into your daily routine. Evaluate your holiday schedule and then determine how much time you will realistically have available to devote to working out and/or eating healthy meals.

2. Don’t put your fitness goals on hold until the New Year.

If you can’t exercise as often during this time period as you normally do, adjust appropriately. Don’t use the excuse that since you don’t have time for your full workout you just won’t workout at all. Instead accept your limited availability and simply reduce the frequency and/or duration of your exercise. It’s much better to cut your fitness time in half than to completely eliminate it.

3. On the day of a party, be sure to eat regularly all day long.

If the party is in the evening, eat breakfast, lunch and a snack before hand (just as you would on any other day). Once you are at the party, go ahead and indulge in some of the fun, delicious foods. Since you have eaten meals earlier in the day, you probably will find that you aren’t tempted to go overboard and eat everything in sight. However, if you starve all day long attempting to save up all your calories for the party, you will be so famished by the time it begins that it will be difficult not to overeat.

4. Schedule your workouts.

Mark them on the calendar and set-aside time to complete them. Consider them as important as any other appointment or event you have marked on your calendar.

5. When at a party, start by eating some of the healthy offerings.

For example, vegetable sticks (without dip), fruit pieces, plain chicken pieces, etc. Then move on to some of the less healthy (but yummy) offerings. You will be less likely to overindulge on these foods if you have already filled-up on some of the healthier items. Yet, you will not feel deprived or unsatisfied.

6. To do just 10 minutes of exercise.

You’ll probably end up doing more than that once you get started. Even if you only end up completing 10 minutes, that is still a lot better than zero minutes.

7. When presented with a large variety of food options, it’s tempting to want to eat everything.

Rather than eating one large slice of chocolate cake or a huge plate of meatballs, select a sampling of bite size pieces of several of the desert or appetizer offerings. This way you get the enjoyment of trying many different foods without overeating.

8. Exercise at home.

You’ll be more inclined to follow-through on your exercise commitment if you don’t have to drive somewhere to do your workout. Plus, you won’t waste any time on driving, parking, the locker room or waiting to use equipment. Working out at home requires very little equipment (it even can be equipment-free) and is quite inexpensive.

9. Avoid wasting calories on alcoholic beverages.

The average alcoholic drink contains 150 to 200 calories per glass. Indulge in just 2 to 3 drinks and you’ve drunk the equivalent calories of an entire meal. If you partake in these beverages, choose wisely. For example, instead of having a full glass of wine, try mixing half a glass of wine with sparkling water or with a diet soda. This will help cut your calories in half.

10. When running errands or shopping, be sure to pack some healthy snacks to have on-hand.

Then after you work up a big appetite, you won’t be tempted to grab something at the mall food court or the fast food restaurant on the way home.

Hopefully these tips will help you find a balance between staying fit and also enjoying the fun of the season. For additional holiday fitness tips, visit Weight Management page.

Remember, moderation is the key. Have a great holiday season!