Release Date: 12/7/2010
Holiday goodies can derail dieters' good intentions
By Damon Broyles, M.D. Family Medicine Specialist Fenton Family Medicine
Visions of sugarplums may have danced in the heads of the children immortalized by Twas the Night Before Christmas; but sugarplums rank pretty low on the list for most of us trying to fight off the temptations posed by holiday treats.
Think Christmas cookies . . . homemade fudge . . . those yummy little cocktail wieners stuffed inside biscuit dough now those are some dancing visions.
So, after fighting the good food fight 11 months out of the year (well, maybe only 8 months, when you discount summer vacation, your birthday week and that long, dreary week in February that mandated the copious consumption of nacho chips just to make it through the day), how do you arm yourself for the battle of the butter cookies and the bacon-cream-cheese balls?
First of all, dont go into complete deprivation mode moderation is the key when partaking of high-calorie holiday snacks. Go ahead and indulge in that slice of pecan pie, but only eat half of it. Youll get the same thrill of pleasure with only half the pain. Are Aunt Marys famous bourbon balls calling your name? By all means, have one; but forego the bourbon-and soda for a diet drink or flavored water.
Is the office holiday luncheon an annual source of temptation? Eat a healthy, low-calorie snack and wash it down with a tall glass of water an hour before the scheduled temptation. Your appetite will be sated, and you will be less inclined to binge on snickerdoodles. Is the rich, calorie-laden Christmas dinner your dietary downfall? Try to focus your food choices on the healthy end of the table turkey breast (sans gravy), vegetables (without the extra butter), and salad (with fat-free dressing). Bank your allowable calories at the dinner table and you can spend them on some favorite treat that you only have during the holiday season, whether its a creamy cup of eggnog or a crisp gingerbread cookie. Make sensible choices.
Here are a few tips to help you survive the holidays without gaining a pants size:
- Dont deprive yourself completely of holiday treats, just take smaller portions.
- Dont go to the party/luncheon hungry; youll wind up sating your hunger with junk food.
- Dont settle in beside the food table to socialize too much temptation too close at hand.
- Dont indulge yourself with Gain now, lose later; for most, later never comes.
- Do get plenty of rest; lack of sleep causes crankiness, which can disguise itself as hunger.
- Do get plenty of exercise; youll sleep better, feel more energetic and eat less.
- Do think about what you put in your mouth; you are in control, so make good choices.
If you discover that youve fallen off the diet wagon, and those sugarplums are no longer visions dancing in your head but very real pounds crowding around your waist, dont despair. Make 2010 the year you adopt a healthy diet and exercise regimen that you can live with year round and take heart from knowing you have 11 more months before the holidays strike again.
Before starting any diet and/or exercise program, consult your family doctor to be sure its the right program for you.
For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.
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