USM Faculty Advice: Staying healthy while enjoying holiday celebrations + Recipes –

December 24, 2021 by No Comments

With so many more high-caloric food and beverage options available during the holidays, particularly at parties and family gatherings, the temptation to indulge beyond one’s normal intake while celebrating comes too easily.

Roxanne Kingston, a registered dietitian (RD) and instructor in The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) College of Education and Human Sciences’ School of Kinesiology and Nutrition, says how we view this special time of year can have a big impact on our caloric intake. 

“There’s lots of enjoyment in getting together with friends and family for the holidays. That enjoyment also comes from consuming foods at parties that might not be in our typical eating pattern,” Kingston said. 

“However, I believe it is important to remember that just because you indulged at a Christmas party, the rest of your weekend or week, or even holiday season, does not have to be shot. Nobody is putting on 10 pounds from overeating at one holiday party. When that indulgence lasts for weeks is when it becomes a problem.” 

As a registered dietitian, Kingston is a firm believer in moderate caloric intake. With that in mind, she urges everyone to have a plan when it comes to eating during the holidays. For example, at a holiday party, Kingston suggests limiting “grazing” because it usually leads to consuming a lot more than you realize. Instead, she recommends getting a plate of food so that one can see exactly what they are consuming. This practice increases the likelihood that you will make good choices.

She also advises including adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables in your regular meals during the holidays and making sure to get an appropriate amount of protein and fat at each meal to help you stay full longer. Consuming smaller meals with more snacks should also be considered.

“It’s not good for your body to go into starvation mode,” she said. “If you wait all day to eat until you attend that holiday get-together, you’re probably going to overeat since you are so hungry. Eating smaller meals and snacks throughout the day can help keep your body fueled and blood glucose levels more consistent.”

Kingston also advises not depriving yourself of those favorite foods that are usually only available this time of year, even if you are trying to be mindful of what you eat.   

“I never recommend totally avoiding certain foods,” Kingston further noted. “There are more calories wrapped up in sauces, casseroles, desserts, and high-fat meats that are typically served during the holiday …….



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *