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Many strive to become healthy and eat a balanced diet in the New Year. Registered dietitian Andrea Goergen says, "Remember that the focus doesn’t have to be on food. Keep up your good habits or use the new year to start healthy family traditions! Enjoy reasonable portions of some of your favorite dishes, put together a balanced plate with foods from each of the food groups, stay hydrated, be active, and eat mindfully to get the most out of 2017 and stay on track."
Here are 12 tips to help you keep a balanced and healthful diet in the months ahead.
1. Take control. Before any social events like parties, receptions or family gatherings, eat a snack or light meal. You will be less likely to fill up on high-calorie foods. Fasting before an event may cause you to overeat.
2. Keep it lean. Go for the vegetable platter and lean proteins, such as shrimp. Try to avoid creamy or fried appetizers.
3. Bring a dish. Offer to bring a low-calorie dish to the event. It will help your host and your waistline!
4. Pile on the veggies. Fill up on healthful foods, such as vegetables, salad and even fruit, before going for the more decadent sides.
5. Reduce portions. Choose the foods you want to try the most, and eat a small portion of each. You will keep your calories down while still enjoying your favorites!
6. Eat slowly. It takes about 20 minutes for your body to realize you’re full. Slow down and savor your meal to prevent overeating and feeling stuffed.
7. Take a walk. After your meal, get moving! It will help your body digest the food and burn some of the extra calories you ate.
8. Eat in moderation. Enjoy your favorite desserts; just be mindful of portion sizes. Sample small amounts.
9. Share your dessert. Cut the calories in half by sharing with a friend or family member.
10. Curb your intake. Have a glass of water after each alcoholic beverage to prevent dehydration and limit consumption. Try not to have more than two drinks.
11. Stick to the basics. Sugary cocktails and fatty, dairy-based drinks, such as eggnog, are loaded with calories. Have a small glass of wine or champagne instead.
12. Provide options. Seek out non-alcoholic beverages, such as hot cider, diet soda and flavored water. They are festive and better for you than alcohol.
Follow these tips for a well-balanced, healthful new year!