healthy holiday eating and drinking
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HEALTHY HOLIDAY EATING AND DRINKING. Kristee Phelps—UTSA Wellness Coordinator. Mental blocks of holiday eating!!! Have You heard these…or said these!!!. The “feel good” factor. Loading the body with chocolate and sugary food releases serotonin, the “feel good” hormone.

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healthy holiday eating and drinking


Kristee Phelps—UTSA Wellness Coordinator

mental blocks of holiday eating have you heard these or said these
Mental blocks of holiday eating!!!Have You heard these…or said these!!!
  • The “feel good” factor. Loading the body with chocolate and sugary food releases serotonin, the “feel good” hormone.
  • The “holiday food shortage” mentality. “This is the only time of year I get to eat this food!”
  • Sentimental value food. “This reminds me of home,” or “this taste just like mom’s.”
  • The “I don’t want to offend anyone, by turning down their food” excuse.
  • “I’ll start eating better after the holidays,” blockade.
  • “I’ll just have one…” disaster.
  • What are some other ones?
some realities of holiday food
Some Realities of Holiday food…
  • Fried Turkey
    • 5.9 oz serving
      • 383 calories
      • 45 g of protein
      • 21 g of fat
      • 1 g Carbs
      • 1,116 mg of sodium
      • 129 mg of cholesterol

Mashes Potatoes

    • Serving size 1 cup
      • 237 calories
      • 4 g of protein
      • 9 g of fat
      • 35 g carbs
      • 666 mg of sodium
      • 23 mg of cholesterol

Cornbread Stuffing

    • Serving size ½ cup
      • 179 calories
      • 3g of protein
      • 9 g of fat
      • 22 g carbs
      • 455 mg of sodium
      • 0 mg of cholesterol


    • Serving size 1 cup
      • 121 calories
      • 6 g of protein
      • 5 g of fat
      • 12 g of carbs
      • 1373 mg of sodium
      • 5 mg of cholesterol

Spiral Ham

    • Serving size 1 slice
      • 197 calories
      • 32 g of protein
      • 7 g of fat
      • 2 g of carbs
      • 1417 mg of sodium
      • 93 mg of cholesterol

Sweet Potatoes with marshmallows

    • Serving size 1 oz.
      • 60 calories
      • < 1 g of protein
      • 4.5 g of fat
      • 4 g of carbs
      • 270 mg of sodium
      • 0 g of cholesterol

Green bean casserole

    • Serving size 2 tbsp
      • 167 calories
      • 3 g of protein
      • 9 g of fat
      • 15 g of carbs
      • 439 mg of sodium
      • 3 mg of cholesterol

Dinner roll

    • Serving size 1 roll
      • 107 calories
      • 3 g of protein
      • 2 g of fat
      • 18 g of carbs
      • 191 mg of sodium
      • 17 mg of cholesterol

Cranberry sauce

    • Serving size 1/4 cup
      • 104 calories
      • <1 g of protein
      • 0 g of fat
      • 27 g of carbs
      • 20 mg of sodium
      • 0 mg of cholesterol
the real hard truth remember this is just one serving of everything
The Real Hard Truth!Remember this is just one serving of everything!
  • Remember all based on one serving of all the food shown.
    • Total calories: 1,555
    • Total fat: 66.5 g
    • Total carbs: 137 g
    • Total sodium: 5,947 mg
  • Based on a 2,000 calorie daily intake.
    • 1,555 is 78% of calorie intake (suggested 2000)
    • 66.5 g is 1% over fat intake (suggested 65 g)
    • 136 g is 45% of carbohydrate intake (suggested 300 g)
    • 5,947 mg is 148% over sodium intake (suggested 2400 mg)
holiday drinks just a few
Holiday drinks…Just a few
  • Peppermint Mocha-16 oz
    • 470 calories
    • 22 g of fat
    • 61 g of carbs
  • Pumpkin spice frappucinno-16 oz
    • 470 calories
    • 13 g of fat
    • 74 g of carbs
  • Margaritas-9 oz
    • 408 calories
    • 25 g of carbs
  • Egg Nog-1 cup no liquor
    • 350 calories
    • 19 g of fat
    • 34 g of cards
helpful tips to survive the holiday eating and drinking frenzy
Helpful tips to survive the holiday eating and drinking frenzy
  • Exercise—You’re not working, so you have a little extra time. Helps burn off excess calories and fat consumed over this period. If you’re in a habit of exercise, keep doing it; you’re already ahead. Exercise helps with higher energy and lower cravings.
  • Review cooking methods—there are countless ways to utilize healthier ways to eat food. Instead of frying food; try to bake, grill, or roast (use low-calorie/fat spray oils). Try steaming vegetables to retain nutrients and flavor.

Lower fat ingredients for cooking—products now in the grocery stores always have half-fat alternatives. Most of these items you can’t tell the difference in flavor.

  • Lower liquid calories—beer, wines, and soft drinks. Holiday beverages…non-fat milk, sugar-free syrup, and no whip cream.
  • Eat regularly—If you are going to a big party or gathering, don’t starve yourself all day in anticipation. You’re in danger of eating everything in sight. Have low-fat, healthy snacks throughout the day, so you won’t over-indulge at the gathering.

Prepare for your outing—Eat healthy leading up to your holiday outing or holiday dinner.

  • Balance your meals—Don’t fill up your plate with rich, high calorie food. Instead have a little of everything including fruits and vegetables. This way you still get to indulge as well as get valuable nutrients and vitamins (make your plate colorful).
  • BEWARE! Sugary food—These have a nasty habit of making us crave more rich and sugary foods. We’ve all been there…over-indulging in sweet food…feeling bloated, sick, and making rash decisions to never eat again…couple hours later you are eating leftovers after ingesting 500+ calories worth of sweets.
  • Make it a point to have healthy snacks present—Fill up on raw vegetables to have a full feeling to resist temptation.

Moderate to no alcohol intake—alcohol is fattening. Wine, beer in large amounts later is a large consumption of calories. So if you over indulge in food and alcohol in one day, You will probably consume your calorie intake for the week.

  • Be assertive—Say no! You don’t have to say yes to everyone that offers you food or drink. If you aren’t hungry, then say so. Don’t get bullied.
  • Make a goal to leave something—When you feel full, stop eating. Don’t listen to your parents…just this once.
putting it into action
Putting It Into Action
  • Take inventory
      • Identify all the situations that make it difficult for you to eat healthy during the holiday season. Is it office parties? Food courts at the shopping mall? Family gatherings? Extra baking and cooking at home?
  • Plan of attack…For Example
      • Bring a low calorie appetizer to party or gathering
      • Don’t go shopping on an empty stomach
      • Healthier substitutions…low-fat desserts
      • Budget calories throughout the day, so you can afford to spend more at the gathering.
      • Burn extra calories in an exercise session.
      • 7-8 hours of sleep

Reward yourself

      • Establish a reward system to help keep you motivated. Example: Deposit money in a jar for every time you have followed your plan. Then after the holidays, attack the big sales and get something for YOU.
  • Stay Positive
      • Everyone makes mistakes. Even the most disciplined person slips. Don’t stress if you have a mishap—its just critical to get back on track.
  • Remember what holidays are truly for
      • It’s time for you, your family, and giving thanks. Be thankful for a great life. Keeping it that way is in your hands.
helpful resources
Helpful resources
    • Diet and nutrition
    • Healthy holiday eating