The holidays are a perfect time to focus on family and friends, not food. It’s also an important time to move more and eat better.
To stay healthy during the holidays, you don’t have to avoid the joys of the season and its many treats. You can simply follow these helpful tips to help you avoid adding pounds during this time of year, and as the year progresses. Here are some ideas to prevent you from ringing in the New Year above your current weight:
Keep yourself accountable. To make sure you eat just enough for you, write down what you eat and drink during the holidays, especially those holiday splurges like pie with whipped cream. Use free, online calorie trackers to get some idea of the calories in the foods you’re eating.
Don’t save up for big meals. Never go to a party hungry. Grab a light snack before stepping out in style. Eat an apple or half a turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread with mustard or your favorite salsa. This way, you won’t be tempted to go overboard and eat more than you should.
Watch the holiday libations. Alcohol contains no nutrients, but plenty of calories. Holiday drinks that combine alcohol with chocolate or cream can quickly cause you to take in more calories than your body needs. Skip the eggnog and go with calorie-free bottle, plain or sparkling water, when they’re available. If you want to have alcohol, try adding a small amount of wine to club soda for a low-cal spritzer.
Walk this way. Walking back and forth to the buffet table is not exercise! Be physically active for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. To get started, consider taking 2 to 3 short walking breaks during the workday. Low-impact activities like walking or yoga may help reduce holiday stress and help you stay at a healthy weight.
Have fun with the kids. Pull them away from video games and the computer and celebrate the holidays with gifts that will get everyone up and moving—roller skates, bikes, and jump ropes. Don’t forget helmets, knee pads, and safety gear for everyone. Inspire your children to begin a lifetime of safe and healthy habits.
For more information about ways to stay healthy during the holidays and beyond, call the Weight-Control Information Network at 1-877-942-4627 or visit www.win.niddk.nih.gov.
Diet and Nutrition-Urban Legends
1. I’m young and healthy. There is no need to worry about my diet and nutrition right now. This can’t be further from the truth. NOW is the time to focus on healthy eating and lifestyle habits while you’re young. It’s always important to properly nourish your body. Poor diets and nutritional habits in your youth can lead to a lifetime of consequences and health issues. There’s no greater time than now.
2. Brown sugar is better for you than white sugar. This is not true. Brown sugar is simply white sugar with molasses added to it. There is no significant benefit to using brown sugar over white sugar in meals or with cooking. Pure cane sugar in its raw form has the most nutritional value, containing multiple vitamins and minerals. It is important to note that all forms of sugar can lead to a rise in blood glucose and should be used with caution.
3. Certain foods are good for fat burning. This is a common misconception. A lot fruits and vegetables have been labeled fat-burning and are the basis of several “fad diets”. These foods don’t cause weight loss by burning calories, the weight loss occurs by simply reducing the total calorie intake. If you burn off more calories than you take in each day, you will lose weight-regardless of the type of food eaten. There are no “calorie burning” foods.
4. “Natural” and herbal weight loss medicines are safe. No medicine or treatment is without side effects. It is important to consult with your physician before beginning any new treatment or weight loss regimen. Be sure to discuss all medications both prescribed and over-the-counter with your healthcare provider to ensure there are no contraindications or potential for risk.
5. No fat, or fat-free means there are no calories. This is untrue. A food that is labeled as fat-free, can still have calories. Be sure to check the nutritional labels for the foods you are eating. Here you will find a list of all of the nutrients contained in that food item. Read your labels!
For more information log on to urbanhousecallmagazine.com.
This was printed in November 20, 2011 - December 3, 2011 Edition.