We hear it on the news every year at this time; many people add five to ten pounds to their body weight between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. As we learned in the program "Holiday Traditions Around the World" many of the celebrations at holiday time are centered around food. Some of the best holiday recipes that people pass on to their younger family members are full of rich ingredients. So what can you do to prove the weight gain statistic wrong and still enjoy the holidays? Read on for some suggestions.
Eating a healthy snack or light meal before attending a holiday gathering can really help curb your appetite. If you find yourself in the midst of a holiday binge, just slow down your eating, refuse the seconds and talk more. If it is a buffet, move away from the food and find something to occupy your hands such as a low-calorie beverage.
As a hostess, you can be considerate of your guests’ dietary needs by providing some alternatives. For a person allergic to the gluten protein in wheat, provide some foods centered around rice or corn. For someone with diabetes, make sure you have some choices that will not cause them to have problems. Cutting some portions smaller or offering sugar free alternatives makes your guest feel that you care.
Try to keep the schedule as normal as possible through the holidays. Start every morning with a healthy breakfast and stop eating two or three hours before bed. Studies show that people who include breakfast eat 100 fewer calories a day than people who do not. And if you stop the unconscious evening snacking, you will save another 200 – 500 calories each day. This habit won’t make you weigh less after just one day or even a week. But after a full year of including breakfast and eliminating evening snacking, you can be up to 30 pounds lighter!
Barton County Extension loses a dear friend
Our office and the entire community was saddened to hear that Bill Van Skike passed away Monday. He was such an encourager of young people through the Barton county 4-H and youth program. He made everyone feel special. At our recent 4-H Achievement program our group signed a giant get well card and posed for a picture to send Bill. As hard as it is to lose our good friend I know that heaven is a better place!
Donna Krug is the Family and Consumer Science Agent for K-State Research and Extension – Barton County. She may be reached at (620)793-1910 or firstname.lastname@example.org.