Stuff the Bird, Not Yourself!

Americans take in 3,000 to 4,500 calories at their Thanksgiving celebrations, according to estimates by the Calorie Control Council.  Here are some helpful hints to get you through the holidays:

Exercise:  There are a number of ways to be active including keeping track of steps per day with holiday shopping, ice skating, decorating, lawn work, and house cleaning.  Exercise  not only burns calories but also releases endorphins that help reduce stress and keeps people in good spirits.

Fuel Up before Heading Out:  Try to have a healthy snack before leaving the house – whether going shopping or to dinner.  Never go anywhere famished – it can lead to overindulgence and diet derailing.

Portion Control:  Save calories by choosing a smaller plate and taking a tablespoon or less of each holiday dish.  Think of it like free samples – try one of each without going overboard.  Desserts can even be served sample sized.

Socialize Away from Food:  So often people find themselves socially snacking before and after meals.  Try to strike up a conversation where food is out of sight.  If there is a bountiful buffet, take a survey first.  Skip foods that can be had “anytime” and opt for small portions of favorite holiday foods.  Make the first trip to the buffet also the last.

The Buddy System:  Don’t wait until New Year’s to make resolutions with a buddy – find a friend or family member before the holidays to exercise with and compare  healthy eating notes with every day.  A little competition can help both stay focused on their goals.