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VA dietitian offers tips for staying healthy during holidays

In a Dec. 20 article in VAntage Point, the official blog of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Laura Dolena, RD, CDE, offered strategies from the MOVE weight management program at West Palm Beach VA Medical Center to avoid the average weight gain of one to two pounds during the holidays. Dolena said the medical center MOVE program “makes sure to include behavior, nutrition and exercise strategies.” To enjoy the holidays while remaining focused on weight goals, people should think SMART — Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic and Timely goals, she said. Dolena shared the following tips for healthy holiday eating.

• Fill up on water and other low-calorie beverages throughout the day; these will keep you hydrated and feeling full.
• Try not to skip a meal prior to the holiday feast and festivities, which can lead to overeating at the event.
• Use a smaller plate, and fill half the plate with fruits and vegetables.
• Go for a walk before your gathering.
• Eat a small healthy meal before you go, which should be high in fiber; or better yet, bring a healthy appetizer such as fruits and vegetables with hummus.
• Keep your attention on your family, friends and the conversation, not the food.
• Don’t deny yourself the treats, but just watch the portions.
“When I’m home for the holidays, I continue to use my fitness tracking device to keep track of my steps and sleep,” Dolena wrote in the blog. “The most important practice to keep in mind is to monitor your intake and stay focused on your long-term goal.”

For more tips, read the article at

By | 2014-12-22T00:00:00-05:00 December 22nd, 2014|Categories: National|0 Comments

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