It’s that time of year. Yes, holiday parties and family gatherings where food and drink will be plenteous are once again upon us. Unfortunately, the temptation to overindulge in holiday cheer can be a challenge for even the most disciplined eater.
Most of us will abandon our diet and exercise regimen beginning in mid-November for Thanksgiving, and will carry through to the first week of February’s Super Bowl Parties. So, how do you maintain your weight and heart-health during this time? Here are a few tips:
1. Eat on a smaller plate. In the olden days, it was expected that every morsel on the plate had to be eaten, as times were lean and wasting food was not acceptable. If eating all the food on your plate is still a practice you feel strongly about continuing, by all means do so. But be practical and eat on a smaller plate. And remember: Don’t pile your plate so full whereby sideboards are needed to prevent overflow.
2. Learn and use these two words boldly: “No Thanks”. If you have stuffed yourself to capacity, and realistically cannot stomach another bite, it’s okay to decline seconds or just say “No Thanks” to that tempting dessert which may contribute to additional unwanted pounds.
3. MOVE. A recent study’s findings revealed that the U.S. African American population has the largest % of adults who do not exercise!  Falling asleep after that big holiday meal does not burn calories. Get off the couch and get to walking, running, stepping, dancing, jumping rope: MOVE!
4. Watch what you drink. During this holiday season, limit your alcohol intake. Drink water or calorie-free beverages with meals. Drink high-fat eggnog sparingly. Lay off the sodas and encourage children and teens to do likewise. If you must have sweet ice-tea or Kool-aid, please sweeten with anything but white sugar.
You will enjoy a much healthier life if you learn to Eat to Live, and not Live to Eat. Happy Holidays!