This archived article was written by: Scott Froehlich
’Tis the season to be jolly…but you don’t have to let it get to your belly
The holiday season is upon us and for a good majority of Americans, this means a two-month period of overeating and indulging in ultra-fatty foods. According to studies, the average American gains 5 to 10 pounds during the holidays; so keep that in mind before you ask for a second helping of pie.
If you ask anybody during the holidays what their favorite dish is, there will no doubt be an alarming amount of calories that are contained in each of them. It’s worth noting that the average daily calorie allotment is 2000. Let’s see how fast those holiday foods chip away at that daily amount.
That turkey that is synonymous with Thanksgiving and Christmas? 350 calories per six ounces. The gravy that we douse it in? 375 calories. What about pumpkin pie? Each slice contains a whopping 500 calories, which includes the whipped cream on top. And who can forget about eggnog? A single cup of eggnog contains 400 calories!
We don’t have to cut out the calorie heavy foods entirely, but here are useful tips that allow you to enjoy the Christmas spread:
1. Keep a regular meal schedule: A lot of people will practically starve themselves in order to “save room” for the big day’s feast. This leads to overeating and will have you hating yourself before bedtime. To keep your appetite in check, be sure to eat breakfast and lunch and don’t minimize the portions.
2. Pace yourself: It is awfully tempting to hurry through your meal in order to get to the next dish on the table. Pacing yourself, however, will ultimately allow your brain to register that you are actually full. Enjoy your meal, but keep portion control in mind. Instead of loading your plate with your favorites, leave room for all the other side dishes you want as well. Also, try to engage in the dinner discussion. Taking a break and setting your fork down will help not only keep up with the conversation, it will distract you from piling on the food.
3. Keep the food away from the television: Watching sports and movies is a timeless tradition over the holidays, but it is wise to avoid eating while enjoying the big game or “It’s A Wonderful Life”. When you eat and watch TV simultaneously there is a tendency to lose track of how much you are eating.
Finally, and probably the most important tip:
4. Enjoy the season: Watching what you eat shouldn’t interfere with your ability to have a good time. As long as you practice moderation you can still sample all of the treats in front of you, and feel proud of yourself in the process.
In the end, no one can tell you how to enjoy yourself this time of year. Only you can control your eating habits and know when to say when. The beauty of this season is that there are 11 months following New Year’s Eve when you can shed the holiday weight. So don’t let the fear of becoming “festively plump” spoil your celebration. Happy holidays and remember to stay safe and enjoy yourself.