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Nov 06, 2016


by Adriana Morrison, Tier II Personal Trainer

The holidays have a notorious reputation for being an indulgent time of the year and food is no exception. Statistics show that Thanksgiving and Christmas are among the highest food consumption days (Super Bowl Sunday ranks number one) in the year. The average person consumes 3000 calories in one Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, and that’s not counting any other meals consumed on those days. Media reports also mention that the average American gains anywhere between 5 to 10 pounds during the holidays.

How do you avoid succumbing to these staggering statistics and stay on a healthy track?  Here are a few strategies to keep you moving forward and enjoying the most wonderful time of the year:

  • Consider alternatives to calorie-laden ingredients. For example, replace whole milk with skim or fat-free milk.
  • Omit bread. This will save you a couple hundred calories.
  • Choose fresh fruit for dessert. Pies and cakes add several hundred calories per slice.
  • Exercise portion control. The caloric numbers will work against you even if you don’t go back for seconds.
  • Stay hydrated. Have a tall glass of water before you consume your holiday meal.
  • If so many tasty dishes tempt you and you don’t want to miss out on any, use a spoon and take one small dollop of each dish.
  • Consume smaller portions of other meals throughout the day of the holiday meal.
  • Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol. A four-ounce glass of wine contains an average of 137 calories.
  • When traveling, stick to fruit and vegetable snacks.

Lastly, include an additional 30-45 minute cardiovascular exercise when you know you will be consuming more food. The holidays are a fun and wonderful time of year but, you don’t want to be sweating them away for the next few months. Using the tips and tricks above, you will be thankful for the lifelong gift of health.