« Health & Fitness

Tips to Avoid the Holiday Pounds

by Christy Taylor

The average American eats 600 additional calories per day between Thanksgiving and New Years! That equals 6 pounds!! So, as we head into the season of temptation, here's a few tips to help you make healthier choices!

• In the kitchen •
Eat Before You Cook

We all know not to shop hungry, so it makes total sense not to cook hungry too. Before you set foot in the kitchen, have a balanced meal or snack. (a bowl of oatmeal, whole grain cereal, fruit & nuts, or a salad) You'll be far less tempted to nibble while cooking!

Tally Your Tastes
When cooking, you sometimes HAVE to taste your work, but every taste equals extra calories! Before you sample something, put it on a plate first. Eating right out of the pot or pan makes it easy to lose track of how much your consuming.
Or, use a new spoon for each sampling. Count the spoons as you go. Research has found visual reminders are powerful in keeping us from over eating!

• Meal Time•
Survey What's Available
Find out what the main course is, and take a look at ALL the appetizers before you start sampling! If the main course is something you want to splurge on, go easy on the snacks.

Beware of Little Bites!
They may look harmless, but mini appetizers often contain about 100 calories EACH and can easily add up without filling you up. You eat them quickly and they're hard to keep track of. If you're splurging on the main course, choose lighter appetizers, such as sliced vegetables with dip (a large handful with 1 tbsp dip is about 100 calories)

• The Goodies•
Think Before You Eat!
Simply pause and ask yourself 'do I really want this?' or 'is this a food I really like?'  You'll be surprised at how many needless calories you pass up!

Set up a Schedule
At home pick a time of day, maybe your 3 o'clock snack or desert, and what you're going to splurge on.

• Left Overs•
Hand out Doggy Bags
Don't keep foods that will tempt you! Give it to your guests to take home!

Move them out of sight-ASAP
Wrap them up and put them away! That way your aren't tempted to nibble as you clean up the kitchen. Store the particularly tempting goodies (like candy and packaged treats) in a tin on a high shelf in a cabinet so they're out of reach

Ice It
Grab some small plastic containers and freeze leftovers in reasonable portions. It both helps curb temptation and lengthens the life of your leftovers. Basically any dish that doesn't contain raw veggies will freeze well.