Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Myth: There's no way to manage my weight during the holidays.

Answer: BUSTED!

And so it begins, the holidays and too many opportunities to eat… and eat… and eat. Think it’s hopeless? Not so! Here are 3 tips to help you succeed in managing your weight throughout the holidays:
    cookie platters at holiday party
  1. Keep up with your daily exercise! Few things do as much good as being active every day. Activity burns calories and - here’s a bonus - helps you to deal with stress. And the holidays can be stressful. So keep those walking or athletic shoes handy!
  2. Engineer your food environment. What does this mean? When at a holiday meal or buffet, use a small plate and take small sample-size portions. Use a tall, slender glass for high-calorie drinks or alcoholic beverages rather than a short, squat glass. With both of these techniques, it is giving you the illusion of more but you are actually receiving less. Position yourself away from food at holiday parties or in the office. If you have to get up and walk over to treats, you may rethink getting another piece of cake or candy. Have too much Halloween candy or other treats at home? Put them far, far away in a cabinet or in the freezer. You might even consider taping the package closed instead of just sealing it with a bag clip. More effort to get at treats might help you think twice about dipping into them.
  3. Get back to “normal” eating as soon as you can. OK, so you indulged at one meal – not to worry. Go back to making healthy food choices and being active each day. The longer you stretch your holiday over-eating, the harder it is to get back to your normal, healthy diet and lifestyle.

For more tips, see Holiday eating strategies on the MissouriFamilies website.

Contributor: Ellen Schuster, M.S., R.D., Associate State Specialist, University of Missouri Extension,, 573-882-1933

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