The holiday season, filled with open houses, family gatherings, shopping excursions, and an abundance of food and drink, tends to disrupt routine activities, including healthy eating and particularly healthy snacking.
"The South Beach Diet is a lifestyle that works 365 days of the year," says Dr. Arthur Agatston, author of The South Beach Diet Supercharged and more recently, The South Beach Diet Wake-Up Call. "The trick during the holidays is to not only eat three healthy meals based on lean protein, nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, and low-fat dairy — but also to make sure you work in your mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks, which will help you keep your cravings under control."
Of course, it’s easier if your kitchen is stocked with healthy snacks. Here are a few items you should keep around during the holiday season (and throughout the year) to help keep you on track:
For Phase 1:
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese
- Plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt, including 0% Greek yogurt
- Fresh vegetables
- Part-skim ricotta cheese
- Reduced-fat cheese sticks
- Sliced lean deli meat: ham, turkey and chicken breast, roast beef
- Tomato juice and vegetable-juice blend
For Phases 2 and 3, stock up on the above plus:
- Fresh fruits
- High-fiber, whole-grain cereal (look for those with at least 3 grams of fiber and no more than 2 g of sugar per serving)
- 100% whole-wheat or whole-grain bread
- Whole-grain crackers
By enjoying healthy snack foods like these, you can save your moments of indulgence for those truly irresistible holiday treats.