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Healthy Eating Through the Holiday Season

Laura Seeman
Submitted to The Union

Food is everywhere you look during the holiday season — starting with the Halloween candy all the way through the beginning of the new year.

It is difficult to stick to healthful eating and exercise habits when temptation seems to be everywhere.

It has been said that the average person gains five pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

However, that may be a bit of an over-estimate. A recent study shows that the average person gains 1-2 pounds, which may not seem like a lot, but it is significant if they don’t lose it and it adds to that yearly weight gain.

Do not expect to lose weight during the holiday season. Instead, focus on weight maintenance. Be sure to keep a regular exercise regimen and maintain a healthy diet at home so that you can enjoy your splurges when you go out to a gathering.

So, how do you eat when you go to a holiday function? The planning needs to start before you put your party hat on. Eat lighter earlier in the day. Eat a small healthy snack before you go to the party. Bring a low-calorie favorite to add to the spread so you always have something to nibble on.

When you get there, make a plate, taking small amounts of your favorites and then move away from the food or bar area. Drop out of the “clean plate” club and leave a few bites of everything on your plate —there is no penalty for that. Choose foods that you cannot get at any other time of year.

Try to eat your calories rather than drink them. Stick to lower calorie or calorie-free beverages rather than eggnog, punch or sugary mixed drinks.

Drink a large glass of mineral water between alcoholic beverages to keep hydrated — put it in a party glass with a squeeze of lime and enjoy.

Try to use your mouth for more talking and reminiscing and a little less for those tempting treats that cause the scale to creep up.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season, filled with family, friends and a healthy start to 2013.

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