Weekly Wellness

Weekly Wellness

by Laura Dillavou

With the start of the holiday season right around the corner,one starts to think of good times and good food with friends andfamily. Told time and time again, this is also the time of yearthat people are most likely to gain weight because of extrasnacking, desserts high in fat, and overall, just moreopportunities to overeat.

There are many simple things that can be done in order to avoidgaining those extra pounds around the holidays. For more insight onthese, pick up the December copy of Shape magazine, or log ontotheir web site, http://www.shape.com

With the rigors of holiday shopping, you are bound to gethungry. The smells of cinnamon rolls and pretzels appeal to yoursenses. All too often, snacks from vendors in the mall or on thestreet are loaded with preservatives and are also high in fat andcalories.

Some of the best treats out there are very tasty and can stillfill you up. One of my favorites is the TCBY Frozen Yogurt Cone. Asmost know, yogurt is much better for you than ice cream because ofthe low amount of saturated fat, the nice dose of calcium, and onecan hardly tell the difference in taste.

Another good mall treat is a whole-wheat pretzel from AuntieAnne’s. Not only is this pretzel filled with fiber, but it onlycontains 1.5 grams of fat, much less than other pretzels available.In order to cut down on calories even further, skip the dippingsauce and extra butter topping.

At family and social gatherings, it is hard to avoid pre-mealsnacking and the continual “grazing” throughout the day. There area few easy things to do in order to fill up your stomach, in a goodway, before the meal.

Drinking water, and a lot of it, will fill up your stomach,making you feel fuller, even though you may have not eatenanything. A lot of holiday foods, like ham, are salty, and drinkingwater will also help you stay hydrated. Many times, hunger ismistaken for thirst.

If you must eat before hand, fill up on veggies, not chips,bread, or crackers. Foods like grapes, celery, and carrots have alot of water in them, making you feel full.

Once at the dinner table, pick your battles. Roasted turkey andchicken are great ways to get protein in the meal, without a lot ofextra fat. For meats like roast beef and ham, be sure to cut outany extra fat that may be on the meat.

Other foods, like mashed potatoes, yams, and dinner rolls pack astarchy punch. Limiting these foods to one small helping will cutdown on the bloated feeling after dinner, and save on calories.

Cooked vegetables, like carrots or a California medley, are goodways to fill up without filling out. Add some salt and pepper tozest up the flavor, and enjoy these without limits. If veggiesaren’t your favorite, see if there is any fruit.

Desserts are often the most tempting and also the most fatteningdish of the meal. A slice of pecan pie has 520 calories and 23grams of fat; neither of which anyone needs. Apple pie or even apiece of cake is a better option for those looking to stay trimover the holidays. Cutting back on drinks like eggnog, or thosecontaining alcohol, will also help you stay within your targetweight.

Following these simple and easy guides to holiday snacking willleave you feeling better about yourself and keep you more in thespirit of the season!