Guard your waistline this holiday season
GEHA | December 14, 2020
The holiday season can be a tricky time to stay on track with healthy eating. There’s lots of food, the potential for stress, plenty of parties – hopefully virtual – and it lasts for weeks. Here are some ways to holiday-proof your eating plan.
• Stick to your normal eating schedule. If a meal is served a little later than normal, eat a small snack beforehand and less at the meal. Vegetables are always a good option to take the edge off.
• Find a way to make a holiday favorite a little healthier. Can it be grilled instead of fried? Can the amount of sugar in a recipe be cut in half?
• Cut back on carbs like potatoes and bread during the meal if you have a sweet tooth.
• Don’t skip meals to “save room” for a big meal. This will affect your blood sugar and make you more likely to overeat.
• Moderation. If you are self-serving a meal, fill a small plate with your favorites, then move away from the buffet table.
• Eat slowly. It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to realize the belly is full.
• Don’t over-indulge. If you have an unhealthy favorite, slow down, savor a small serving and count it as part of your meal plan.
• Drink water and exercise before a meal to help curb your appetite.
• If eating healthy makes you think of all the items you can’t eat, focus on the foods you can enjoy instead.
• Take a walk after a meal or find another way to get moving. Being active can make up for eating more than normal and help reduce stress.
• Try to get seven or eight hours of sleep each night. Sleep deprivation may lead to eating more and a preference for high-fat, high-sugar foods.
And remember, GEHA’s 24-hour Health Advice Line is staffed with registered nurses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are always glad to provide healthy eating strategies. Please have your member ID number handy when calling 888.257.4342.
*This is a brief description of the features of the Elevate, HDHP, Standard Option, Elevate Plus and High Option medical plans. Please read the plan’s Federal brochures RI-006 (High and Standard Options), RI 71-014 (HDHP) or RI 71-018 (Elevate and Elevate Plus), available at geha.com/PlanBrochure. All benefits are subject to the definitions, limitations, and exclusions set forth in the Federal brochure.
“Community immunity: How vaccines protect us all.” newsinhealth.nih.gov, National Institutes of Health, October, 2011.
“Create your plate: Healthy serving sizes for the holidays.” mayclinichealthsystem.org, Mayo Clinic Health System.
“10 Tips: Make healthy holiday choices.” choosemyplate.gov, U.S. Department of Agriculture, January, 2016.