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Diet and Be Merry

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Featured Article

Diet and Be Merry
Article contributed by Mission Hospital of Mission Viejo

Mingling at a friend's party, you notice and smell some of the usual mouth-watering holiday fare: a punch bowl brimming with eggnog, a food table crammed with hors d'oeuvres, turkey baking in the oven, and apple and pecan pies cooling for later.

As you make your way to the couches to seek refuge from the food and drinks, you regret the idea of feeding your holiday jitters with high-fat food and washing them down with a cocktail. Maybe that's why your pants feel like they are about to bust at the seams.

Likewise it's been hard to escape the sweets and goodies in your office kitchen every day.

For most, Halloween kicks off the season of rich cuisine, caloric beverages, lack of time and irritation. That's why between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day many people gain five to 10 unwanted pounds, according to the American Heart Association.

However, maintaining your healthy lifestyle over the holidays doesn't have to be arduous. You can enjoy food and drink while celebrating by planning for the tempting delights you might encounter. Check the following list for ways to be nice-and not naughty.

The Guilt-free Guest

  1. Don't go to a party hungry. Eat lightly the day you'll be expected to eat a large meal. But eat heartily before leaving for a buffet.
  2. Stay away from sweet drinks, which have a lot of sugar.
  3. Focus on the festivities, not the food.
  4. Stick to watery, fibrous appetizers like celery and radishes.
  5. Choose a small plate if plates of different sizes are available.
  6. Socialize far from the bar and buffet table.
  7. Split desserts two or four ways.
  8. Scrape off all high-fat toppings and sauces.
  9. Practice saying, "No thank you" to food offerings.
  10. Avoid reaching for snacks just because they're handy.

The Health-Conscious Hostess

  1. Keep it a secret if you're serving a "diet" meal. Otherwise you may ruin a festive mood.
  2. Cut serving sizes to reduce calorie and fat grams.
  3. Don't believe a feast isn't a feast unless every guest is groaning after eating. With 18 percent of adults making changes in their diet other ways fruit may be more appreciated.
  4. Combine ricotta cheese with dates, prunes, dried apples or apricots in a food processor and blend until smooth. Spread over crackers or fruit slices for a nutritious hors d'oeuvre.

Willpower at Work

Bring low-fat foods such as popcorn, nonfat yogurt, whole-wheat crackers, ready-to-eat vegetables and pretzels to the office so you can turn to them in times of temptation. Stay out of the kitchen or break room. This will keep the sweets from staring you in the face.

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About Mission Hospital
Mission Hospital is a 340-bed acute care, full-service facility serving all of south Orange County and houses the region's designated trauma center, one of only three in the county. Located in Mission Viejo, Mission Hospital offers a complete array of top-quality healthcare services.

Disclaimer: The above information is presented for educational purposes only. Statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products mentioned are not intended or effective for the treatment or prevention of any disease. Consult your physician for all your health needs.

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