Holiday Hangups: The One Plate Rule & More Tips for Cancer Prevention

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Are you expecting a season of holiday parties, special treats, being too busy to exercise and feeling extra stress? At our latest tweetchat we talked strategies for powering through those and other Holiday Hangups – health stoppers that can derail our usual habits that help us stay healthy, keep our weight in check, and lower risk for cancer.TG_plate_dreamstime_xs_34940592

I selected three topics we discussed and chose some of my favorite tips from tweetchat participants. Perhaps you’ll find an idea or two to help you stay on the healthy track tomorrow and beyond. The goal: Enjoy the holidays and delicious food AND stay energized and satisfied, but not stuffed.

1. Social gatherings – how do you manage to sneak in some healthy eating?

  • The one plate rule, especially if I’m at a holiday buffet!
  • I slim down my [drink] by choosing calorie-free beverages like sparkling water or club soda.
  • Step away from sights and smells of the buffet table. I spend a mindful moment deciding how hungry I actually am.

2. Can you balance special treats with smarter choices?

  • I follow the power of “or” not “and.” If I’m trying to save some calories for dessert, I choose potatoes OR rolls OR stuffing.
  • Those special holiday foods are what I focus on rather than things I can get all year long.
  • I make fav desserts less rich: For example, an apple cobbler with a sprinkle of oat crumble instead of a double crust pie.
  • My plate is filled first with larger portions of raw or unadorned veggies, then I choose smaller servings of favorite rich holiday mains.

3. How do you combat stress eating?

  • Keep items out of sight or in covered containers instead of clear glass candy dishes
  • Exercise! Don’t forget it this time of year.
  • It’s a good time to write a note or letter to someone. Talk about an unexpected gift – getting a letter in US Mail!
  • I go for a walk, sip a cup of tea or just slow down.
  • It’s crucial to make intentional plans for relaxation! A hot bath on a cold evening helps relieve stress.
  • Also keep lavender essential oil or lavender scented lotion on hand – natural stress reliever!

What are some of your tips for powering through the holidays? For more AICR ideas and to read the entire chat, check out our Holiday Hangups page.



Author: Alice RD

Alice G. Bender, MS, RDN, is the Director of Nutrition Programs at AICR. She helps put the science of cancer prevention into action by providing tips and tools to choose nutritious and delicious foods. Alice has guided thousands of individuals to healthier lives through diet changes and choices.

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