Nutrition

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 ’Tis the season of family, food, and fun! Sometimes among all the festivities it’s easy to forget that fitness also should be part of a healthy holiday season. Between parties, cookie swaps, gift baskets and holiday parties, the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can definitely pose a challenge to keeping the scale steady. But with a few healthy eating strategies and a solid fitness plan, you can keep weight gain to a minimum and even enjoy an occasional indulgence.

Eat right

• Practice preemptive eating. Don’t skip meals in preparation for eating at a holiday party. You’ll likely wind up so hungry that you’ll overeat and consume more calories than you would have if you’d eaten well throughout the day. 

• Eat mindfully. Slow down and enjoy each bite of your meal. When you eat in a hurry, you’re much more likely to overeat. By eating more slowly, you’ll feel more satisfied with less.

• Choose color. At holiday meals or dinner parties, fill your plate with a colorful assortment of fruit and vegetables before you eat the higher fat foods. Fruit and vegetables are high in fiber, which helps fill you up—plus it’s a great way to bring some balance to your plate. 

• Follow the two-bite rule for desserts. Take two bites of your favorite dessert and then stop. Following the two-bite rule lets you enjoy just enough of favorite goodies. 

• Beware of liquid diet-blasters. Calories from alcoholic and holiday beverages such as eggnog, fruit punch, and lattes prepared with whole milk can quickly add up. Try sparkling water, flavored seltzer or light juices.

• Out of sight, out of mind.  The holidays bring about all sorts of sweet treats and delectable snacks, especially at the office.  The calories from a taste here and a bite there can really add up fast. Keep these tempting treats out of sight to avoid indulging. Something simple like removing the candy jar from your desk will help prevent you from snacking.

Train right 

Is a fitness plan part of your 2016 New Year’s resolutions? If so, why not get a jump start now? Today’s workouts are smarter and more functional in nature, and there are a variety of new, innovative ways to stay fit with exercise. Don’t forget to check with the experts. Find a credentialed fitness professional if you need help, and always check with your health care practitioner before starting a new fitness plan.  

Body weight training uses your own body weight as a form of resistance training. Try pushups, pull-ups, burpees, jumping jacks, squats, lunges and ab exercises. If no-cost exercise is your thing, then body weight training is a great choice that can be done in the comfort of your home, while traveling, or just about anywhere.

HIIT training (High Intensity Interval Training) involves repeating short bursts of moderate-intense activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery, usually completed in 30 minutes or less.

Fun fitness technology: There are plenty of fitness gadgets to keep you entertained while working up a sweat. Each of the following devices can be used to promote, track, and change exercise behaviors:

• Wearable devices like FitBit that track steps, miles, calories burned, and much more

• Heart rate monitors and pedometers

• Portable GPS units that can map your running/walking route and keep track of distance traveled

• Interactive video games like Wii Sports, which are great for the whole family

• Fitness apps that can track frequency/duration/intensity of exercise as well as nutrient/calorie intake

Most of these gadgets can be synced via Bluetooth to a smartphone, tablet or computer to showcase your health data through analytical charts and easy-to-follow summaries.

Did you know your local ShopRite stores offer complimentary nutrition services from registered dietitians? For recipe ideas, free nutrition counseling, or other health and wellness information, contact your ShopRite dietitian today.

ShopRite of Niskayuna, Sarah Ender, MS, RD; 491.0050

ShopRite of Albany, Rachel Robinson, RD; 708.3445

ShopRite of Slingerlands, Amy Imler, MS, RD; 598.4970

ShopRite of Colonie, Kristin Caponera. MS, RD; 708.7815

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