Helpful and healthy holiday eating

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Huntsville, Ala. - We're heading into the holiday party season. That means gatherings where there's plenty of food, alcohol and the chance to gain some pounds.

So how do we get through the holidays and stay on the healthy side?

It's easy to get caught up in all the parties and celebrations from Thanksgiving to the New Year, so here's a little helpful health matters information we can all use. We got some great advice from a Huntsville Hospital nutritionist.

We made it through thanksgiving. Some of may feel as stuffed as the birds we cooked.

We just have to get through the rest of the holidays without overdoing it when it comes to food and drink.

Linda Steakley says, “If you don’t think through that, you will sail through the holidays eating and drinking your way at every party, at every event that you go.”

Steakley, a Huntsville Hospital dietitian and nutritionist says it's all about how you want to feel and where you want to be weight wise when 2017 rolls around.

“You have to put the brakes on at some point,” she said. You can’t just do exactly what you want to do and wake up on New Year’s Day and think, I’ve maintained my weight because you will not have maintained your weight.”

Most people gain weight during the holiday season.

“You’ll hear anywhere from three to five or 10 pounds weight gain during the holidays,” Steakley added. Some of that is because we consume more salt, carbohydrates and alcohol.

That’s why it’s a good idea to weigh yourself often during this time to see where you are and where you need to go.

“And you’ll also see that when it goes up three to five pounds that if you get back on track, it’s going to come right back down,” Steakley said.

If you’re thinking about getting through the next month or so and then making a resolution to lose weight, Steakley has some advice.

“The best thing to do is don’t gain it,” she says. “Just don’t do there because then you don’t have to wake up and say I’ve got to lose that weight.”

At the same time, enjoy the holidays.

“I tell people, just eat those things that you really, really, really love,” Steakley said.

And eat smaller portions. “Absolutely,” She added. “And enjoy it but eat it slower. We eat way too fast. And when we’re just shoveling it in, we’re eating way too much.”

And for those of us who are counting calories, there are these wise words from Steakley. “If you don’t keep up with it, it is going to get away from you.”

She says it’s easy during Thanksgiving and Christmas to eat 3,000 calories in one meal.

And there aren’t too many people who can do that and get away with it.