Holiday Weight

By: Kelly Sparks
By: Kelly Sparks

Thanksgiving is a holiday full of tradition, indulgence, and a few extra pounds.

"I want to try and get back on track," Mary Alice Hilbreth said.

Hilbreth was just one of many who hit the gym Saturday afternoon to lose those few pounds they picked up over the holiday weekend.

The average Thanksgiving meal is around 3,000 calories.

According to the American Council on Exercise, a 160lb. person would have to run at a moderate pace for four hours, swim for five, or walk 30 miles to burn off that many calories.

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Holiday Eating Suggestions

  • Be Realistic
    • Do not try to lose weight during the holidays, this may be a self-defeating goal.
    • Strive to maintain your weight by balancing party eating with other meals.
    • Eat small lower-calorie meals during the day so you can enjoy celebration foods without overdoing your calorie intake for the day.

  • Take the Edge off Your Hunger Before a Party
    • Feeling hungry can sabotage even the strongest willpower, so eat a small, low-fat snack, such as fruit or a bagel, before you head out the door. This will help you avoid rushing to the buffet table when you arrive at a party.
    • While you're there, take time to greet people you know, conversation is calorie free.
    • Get a beverage, and settle into the festivities before eating.
    • Try sparking water and a lime twist rather than wine, champagne or a mixed drink. Sparkling water doesn't supply calories.

  • Make Just One Trip to the Party Buffet
    • Be selective! Choose only the foods you really want to eat and keep portions small.
    • Often just a taste satisfies a craving or curiosity.
    • Move your socializing away from the buffet table, this will eliminate unconscious nibbling.

  • Choose Lower-Calorie Party Foods
    • Raw vegetables with a small amount of dip, just enough to coat the end of the vegetable is a good choice.
    • Try boiled shrimp or scallops with cocktail sauce or lemon.
    • Go easy on fried appetizers and cheese cubes.
    • To help ensure there will be healthful treats, bring a dish to the party filled with raw vegetables with a yogurt or cottage cheese dip, or bring a platter of fresh fruit.

  • For Sit-Down Parties, Make Your First Helping Small
    • What this solves is that if your host or hostess expects you to take seconds, the total amount will be about the same as a normal-size portion.
    • The most important thing about holiday eating is to forget the all-or-nothing mindset.
    • Depriving yourself of special holiday foods, or feeling guilty when you do enjoy them, isn't part of a healthy eating strategy, and it's certainly not part of the holiday spirit!

Source: http://www.eatright.org/feature/120199.html ( The American Dietetic Association Web Site)


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