Tips to Eating Healthy During the Holidays

Thank you to Matt Boles for this informative article!

Starting with Halloween, the holidays are a seemingly endless time of good food and temptations. Food is a cornerstone of many holiday traditions, and many people struggle with their weight as a result of the holidays and the stress that comes with it.
“We need to eat, that is how we fuel our bodies,” said Shannon Kirkpatrick, health promotion specialist at GatorWell.

Kirkpatrick recommends that people eat foods that they love and find satisfying. She also recommends choosing foods that consist of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, which will provide more sustained energy throughout the day.

“The holidays are time-limited,” said Kirkpatrick. “You definitely don’t want to miss out on the holiday foods that you would truly enjoy and feel deprived without.”

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Kirkpatrick also suggest that people practice intuitive eating, taking time to think about why they are hungry and what needs they are trying to fulfill. “With intuitive eating, the goal is to eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re full.”

Janis Mena, a registered dietitian and coordinator of nutrition services at the Student Health Care Center, also advises people to indulge in the food that they love, but in proper portions. “You still use moderation.”

Mena also encourages people to eat every three or four hours and have healthy snacks throughout the day in order to avoid the temptation of overeating. “Sometimes, it occurs when people have not eaten for a while,” she said.

Traditional holiday foods are not off-limits, but overstuffing is. “The whole idea is that you do not eat until you are uncomfortable,” Mena said.

Mena said that we should all practice one of Benjamin Franklin’s aphorisms, “Eat to live, and not live to eat.”

Matt Boles is a student in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Boles is majoring in public relations and minoring in Spanish and communications. Boles was inspired to write the story after listening to a presentation by a nutritionist.

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A Healthy Eater

3 comments… add one

  • Luke Dec 2, 2011, 8:40 pm

    I love the Benjamin Franklin quote. It is a grand standard of thought for the future of America’s ongoing battles with obesity and its life-altering causes. Further, its application to the contemporary mindset of holiday stomachs alike. Thank you for the consciousness!

  • john Dec 3, 2011, 10:33 am

    Great job matt!

  • dad Dec 3, 2011, 10:55 am

    In front of a golf cart? Lets play 18 today! love you, Dad.

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