Your Secret Weapon Against Holiday Overindulgence? High-Quality Protein

Nutrition Unscrambled

Today’s blog post is written by Emmaline Rasmussen, Dietetic Intern. Emmaline studies Dietetics and Kinesiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago and will be eligible to sit for the registered dietitian exam in December of 2012. She is an avid food and nutrition enthusiast as well as a certified yoga teacher.

We’ve all been there—it’s just after 10 AM, breakfast feels like it was ages ago and the effects of our morning coffee are beginning to dwindle. Lunch may not be for another hour or two, but the rumbling in our stomachs threatens to divert focus from the task at hand, slowly bringing food to the front of our minds. In nearly perfect symphony, it is at this moment that a coworker casually passes by with a rich slice of pumpkin bread or a generously frosted holiday cookie. The idea of indulging in a treat—or two—becomes increasingly attractive. The typical sugary options commonplace in the break room during the holiday season may entice us by promising a temporary solution to our immediate hunger and energy “crisis,” but any energy-boosting or hunger-satisfying effects of these indulgences are transient and often followed by the impending sugar “crash,” leaving us back where we started some 200 plus calories ago.

While there is nothing wrong with a sporadic holiday indulgence, moderation is key to staving off holiday weight gain or guilt. Therefore, when enjoying an occasional reasonably-sized portion of a festive treat with coworkers, colleagues, friends or family this holiday season, the terms occasional and reasonably-sized portion cannot be emphasized enough. A key strategy for practicing moderation is to have a healthy, satisfying option on hand to help curb hunger or balance out a snack or meal.

While many holiday treats are high in carbohydrates and fat, snacks that include high quality protein may offer more staying power to get you to the next meal. Hard boiled eggs are a simple solution, as they can easily be made in large batches and kept on hand for a quick, satisfying snack or a healthy addition to meals. By eating an egg first, we can more easily avoid the tempting sugar-laden and calorically dense holiday indulgences, or at least cut back on our portions of them!

See these simple instructions for making the perfect hard boiled eggs, along with some great tips for incorporating eggs into quick and delicious recipes!

 

Anna Shlachter MS, RD, LDN

Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN is the Program Manager, Nutrition Research and Communications at the Egg Nutrition Center

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