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Nutrition News: Holiday Strategies

Charlyn Fargo on

--Keep moving. You may need to break physical activity into smaller chunks to fit it in. Taking a walk for 10 minutes, three times a day, adds up to 30 minutes of exercise.

No. 2. Outsmart the buffet. When faced with a spread of delicious holiday food, make healthy choices easier.

--Have a small plate of the foods you like best and then move away from the buffet table.

--Start with vegetables to take the edge off your appetite.

--Eat slowly. It takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to realize you're full.

--Avoid or limit alcohol. If you do have an alcoholic drink, have it with food.

 

No. 3: Fit in favorites. No food is on the "I can't have it" list. Choose the dishes you really love and can't get any other time of year, like Aunt Shirley's Italian cream cake. Slow down and savor a small serving, and make sure to count it in your meal plan.

No. 4: Keep Moving. We all have a lot on our plates this time of year, and physical activity can get crowded out, even forgotten. However, being active is a secret holiday weapon. It can help make up for eating more than usual and reduce stress during this most stressful time of year. Take a walk after a holiday meal.

No. 5: Get plenty of sleep. Going out more and staying out later often means cutting back on sleep. When we are sleep deprived, we tend to eat more and prefer high-fat, high-sugar food. Aim for seven to eight hours per night to guard against mindless eating.

Most of all, remember what the season is about: celebrating and connecting with the people you care about. When you focus more on the fun, it's easier to focus less on the food.

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