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How you can have a healthy holiday

December 9, 2015
Here’s a great idea …
In the journal, Physiology & Behavior, Dale A. Schoeller writes “studies in Western societies have reported average weight gains among adults during the period between mid-November and mid-January that were about 0.5 kg.” That converts to about 1.1 pounds gained each holiday season and is the main contributor to excess annual weight gain.
In other words …
We are in the middle of the holiday season!  Thanksgiving is behind us and December holidays are near. This means time with family and friends, which usually involves large meals with tons of butter, cream, and sweets.  For most, this is the time of year we loosen up our belts a little or wear our “stretchy pants” a little more often in anticipation of big meals. However, there are some things we can do to keep our belts tight and our jeans fitting right during the holiday season! Did you overindulge during Thanksgiving? With just a few simple changes to our traditional meal, we can beat the extra bulge and roll in the New Year feeling good about it.
Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life …
If you are hosting the big get together, here are a few tips to trim the fat for the big meal: use vegetable oils like olive or canola instead of butter; use low-fat or condensed milk instead of whole milk or cream; instead of mashed potatoes, quarter your potatoes and roast them in the oven with olive oil, garlic and rosemary; or try substituting applesauce or avocado in place of butter when baking.  Also, adding fresh steamed or frozen vegetables (like broccoli) to your macaroni and cheese can increase your fiber intake and aid with digestion after the big meal. It’s also important, if you are the guest, to make your portions a little smaller and wait at least 30 minutes before going back for seconds; this gives your body time to account for the food you’ve already eaten and will help you make a better decision when going back for more. With a few small changes, your holiday meal can taste delicious and be healthy too!

About other ways you can make your holiday season a little healthier, visit www.choosemyplate.gov

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For recipes and other information, visit http://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/search/solr-results or http://www.uaex.edu/health-living/food-nutrition/default.aspx.

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