Saturday, November 22, 2014

Holiday Eating Tips

Fitness Spark*S* 
A random collection of information, tips and food for thought on fitness, health, wellness and wellbeing meant to spark - inspire - the lifestyle changes that will boost your wellbeing. 

spark – a latent particle capable of growth or developing. (Merriam Webster).

Who Is More Fit?  This topic has been bumped for another more timely topic….holiday eating tips.  We will revisit it soon, however.  

The stress of the holidays can lead to overeating.  To combat this, a plan is essential before hitting that overflowing Thanksgiving buffet.   There are dozens of articles out there on this topic, but here are some of the best Spark*S* for you to pick & choose from.  Like any lifestyle change, its best to choose one or two to concentrate on, and not make wholesale changes that might be self defeating.

At The Holiday Buffet 

·  Choose lower calorie offerings – crudités, deli meats, chicken kebabs, salsa, steamed or fresh veggies, boiled shrimp, feta rather than hard cheese.  Or skip the cracker with the hard cheese and use a vegetable.

·  Stand at least 3 feet away from the buffet table.  Better yet, move until it’s out of sight.

·  Use the smallest plate, or even a napkin if practical - it holds less. 

·  Give yourself a calorie allowance for sweets and desserts by eating less of other things.

·  Follow the three bite rule – if you don’t like it after 3 bites, it’s not worth the calories.

·  Alternate water with alcoholic drinks.  And limit yourself to one or two drinks.  Drink water, tea or coffee before eating – you will feel fuller.

·  Avoid the eggnog…at 343 calories & 11 gm of saturated fat per cup – that’s a lot of excess calories.  Even wine is only 125 calories per five ounces.

·  Pop a mint or piece of gum after eating – you’ll be less tempted to indulge.

·  Limit the number of items on your plate.

·  If it’s a potluck, bring something healthy that you are willing to eat.

·  Don’t rush to eat.  Take time to socialize away from the buffet.  Think about people, not food.

·  Survey the whole buffet before filling your plate.  Skip your least favorite foods & take smaller servings.  Be a food snob & pick only foods you love.

Guidelines For The Rest Of The Time    

·  Be realistic about your goals.  The holidays aren’t the best time to try to lose weight.  Consider making weight maintenance the goal instead.

·  Remember to eat when shopping so you won’t overeat when you get home.

·  Eat three balanced meals a day – no skipping of meals.   A hearty breakfast with protein, complex carbs & dairy will help fill you up & keep you going.

·  Exercise as much as possible.  Plan your exercise times like any other appointment in your day.  First thing is best for a lot of folks.

·  Choose a sit down restaurant rather than a fast food one.  And avoid eating places decorated with a lot of red.  It’s been shown to stimulate the appetite.

·  Weigh yourself daily.  Try on your slimmest fitting pants once a week.  Notice how they fit – are they getting more tight?  Make adjustments in your eating.

·  Stay away from the office goodie table – try to keep it out of sight.  Out of sight, out of mind.  People ate more when chocolates were placed within arm’s reach rather than 6 feet away.

·  Use tall skinny glasses, rather than the fat, wide kind.  People poured 30% more into the latter.

·  Watch your portion sizes.  Split desserts.  Share entrees.

·  When cooking or baking try to make smart substitutions.  See the link below to the AHA’s healthy Eating Guide.

·  Eat slowly & leave the table when you’re done.

From A Long Term Client   Kudos to Alex Starr for this suggestion.  Ask what is in a dish before taking a portion.  If its something you don’t like – coconut, pineapple or cilantro, for example - or can’t eat, you have a reason to pass it by.

For more information, check out these websites:
American Health Association’s Heathy Eating Guide
Ten Top Holiday Diet Tips Of All Time

Recipe Make Over  From WebMD, here’s a lower calorie version of that perennial favorite – green bean casserole 

Next Time   We'll get back to the question of who’s healthier and if sitting too much can be lethal.

Till later – keep moving,


Fitness Spark Personal Training
Judy Chong, Pharm.D., MS, CSCS


©Judy Chong, Fitness Spark Personal Training,
510-589-1337, Nov.20, 2014.

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