I know you do not want to hear it but before you know it we are in the holiday season. My challenge to you is get ahead of the holiday pounds. Let’s start a healthy routine now to get a jump-start on establishing healthy habits.

Stop saving up your calories. If you have been in the habit of “saving your calories” for the meal at the party and do not eat all day. This actually causes your metabolism to slow down.

Keep portions small.  Chances are you are going to want to try a variety of dishes.  Taking a small sample of each will satisfy you’re cravings, and allow you to try new dishes.

Go easy on the pre-dinner snacking.  Choose fruits and vegetables over the cheese and crackers.  Also be conservative on the dipping sauces.

Mingle. If you socialize away from the food you may be less likely to stand in front of food and nibble.

Be realistic.  Holidays are centered around family, food, and fun!  If you happen to splurge don’t feel guilty.  One day will not make or break your nutrition and fitness routine.  Wake up and start fresh.

Offer to bring a dish.  Many ingredients can be substituted to make a healthier item for the whole family.

If you are hosting the holiday meal and want to keep your families food fare healthy…… considering swapping out a few ingredients. Eat healthy without sacrificing taste!

•Using two egg whites in place of one egg can reduce the cholesterol and produce the same tasty result.

• Use low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth in your mashed potatoes to add flavor and lighten holiday fat content.

• Substitute applesauce for oil, margarine or butter in muffins and quick breads like banana bread. Try substituting a small amount at first, as the more you substitute the more the texture of the finished product changes.

• For dips, sauces and pie toppings, use non-fat Greek yogurt and whipped topping. (whipped toppings have less calories for the same amount)

• Sliced almonds make a delicious, crunchy topping in place of fried onion rings.

• Choose reduced-fat cheeses for salads and casseroles.

Happy eating!