Skip to main content

Health library

Back to health library

Tasty Tuesday by Anna Grindeland, RD, CD: 4 steps to a healthy December

Anna Grindeland, RD, CD

This time of year, we are never far from holiday treats and sweets. From the chocolate sampler at work to the Christmas cookie trays at home—it is all around us. Many Americans gain weight between November and January (5-10lb on average), which can be hard to lose year after year. Whether you are trying to eat healthier, or curb potential weight gain this month, here is a checklist to help you succeed while still enjoying the holiday traditions to their fullest:

  1. Avoid mindless eating. Move treats away from our work area, couch, or a high-traffic area in your home. The easier it is to grab a chocolate or cookie, the more you are likely to eat without even realizing it. In fact, you may eat twice as many chocolates if they are in arms-reach of you!
  2. Take the time. When you really want that cookie, chocolate, or sugar plum- stop. Stop what you are typing, doing, thinking, and give your attention to enjoying the treat. Sit down in a quiet area, if you need to. Give yourself 2-3 minutes without any distractions so you can enjoy this special treat to its fullest. It might taste better with a glass of milk or cup of tea? Allow yourself full enjoyment.
  3. Indulge in non-food traditions. Instead of sharing food with your friends and coworkers, why not share an activity? Suggest decorating holiday cards, volunteering for meals on wheels* together, have a gingerbread house competition, or have an ugly sweater day. Meaningful non-food gifts can be just as special as food, and might be just what the recipient needs. Some ideas: Give coupons to shovel someone's snow this winter, make handmade ornaments, or scarves.
  4. Don't forget to cook. There are so many opportunities to snack on holiday treats that we tend to forget about meals. Remember, nutrition is what you EAT, not what you leave out. So try this recipe for an easy weeknight Paella, or make one of your favorites to share with your family.

*Volunteer for Meals on Wheels with the Council on Aging, call 509.397.4305.

Have a healthy and happy week!

Read more breaking news Related stories

The information found in the Health Library is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice nor does it represent the views or position of WHMC. Readers should always consult with their healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment, including for specific medical needs.