Memorial Hospital Medical Minute

Published 2:07 pm Friday, November 15, 2019

With the holidays fast approaching, people start to get a certain gleam in their eyes thinking about being with loved ones, decorations, gift giving, and of course the indulgence of all of the holiday treats. While some look forward to this endless time of parties and food, others begin to panic about staying on their healthy journey.  Whichever team you choose to be on is up to you, but it is important for both sides to remember that there are ways to enjoy this season, without panic and guilt, and without battling the bulge. Here are some tips to help save your sanity and your waistline.

Do not starve yourself! I know everyone jokes about wearing their fat pants to the family meal, but really it’s best to eat a healthy snack before going to a party or large meal. An empty stomach can lead to an overloaded plate. (Que the nap). Tell yourself there will be leftovers!

Enjoy the conversation and the company. (No cell phones at the table! Facebook and Instagram can wait.) Eat slowly enough to give your brain time to register that you are filling up and aren’t hungry anymore. As a rule of thumb it is best to wait at least 20 minutes before going back for seconds.

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Scan the spread carefully! Look over your options before putting anything on your plate. This will help you be able to enjoy your favorite holiday dishes and snacks that are only available seasonally.

Watch the drinks! Calories from both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks can add up quickly.

Get active!  Balance out those extra calories with some activity. Getting active is great for your heart and whole body, both physically and emotionally. (Holiday shopping will help, right?) Start with 10 minutes, and then just add 5 or 10 minutes here and there throughout your day. It all adds up!

Relax! Eat, drink and be thankful. It’s a wonderful time of year. One meal will not ruin your nutritional goals.