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Holiday Nutrition

Want less holiday stress?

on Tuesday, 18 December 2012. Posted in Holiday Nutrition

The holidays don’t need to take a toll on your health.
 
Here are 10 practical ideas and some fun ones that work to reduce your stress during a high-stress season, so you can enjoy your holidays, your family, and yourself.
  1. Keep a check on over-commitment and over-spending.
  2. Balance work, home, and play.
  3. Laugh! Tell a joke, join a laugh yoga class, get silly with your kids.
  4. Get support from family and friends.
  5. Practice deep breathing techniques. They short-circuit your stress.
  6. Practice time management.
  7. Hug a puppy!
  8. Keep a relaxed and positive outlook.
  9. Get moving - virtually any kind of physical exercise will do.
  10. Listen to the Center for Disease Control’s holiday song:  http://www.cdc.gov/family/holiday/12waysSong.htm. Believe it or not, the government wrote a holiday song and sings it here just for you!

Holiday weight gain - truth or fiction?

on Tuesday, 27 November 2012. Posted in Holiday Nutrition, Basketball

Is it myth or truth that people tend to gain weight during the holidays? Actually, according to a commonly cited study, adults tend to gain only 1-2 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. (If you are above average weight to start with, you might gain as much as 5 pounds).
 
That’s the good news. Now for the bad news.
 
First, most people who gain weight during the holidays don’t take it off in the new year. So, big deal, right? What’s 1 or 2 extra pounds? It’s not a big deal until you add up the pounds from last year, this year, next year, etc. You get the picture.
 
Secondly, the pound or two you gain isn’t as important as the proportion of fat in your body. Another study showed that even if you don’t gain weight during the holidays, you are very likely to see a significant increase in the proportion of fat in your body largely because of the food you eat.
 
Roll it all together, add up the years, and you are at higher and higher risk for serious health issues such as cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. Don’t kid yourself, this is just as important to younger healthy adults as it is to middle-age or older adults.
 
With balance and moderation, you can enjoy the holidays the healthy way. Here are a few quick tips:
  • Eat a healthy meal before you go to holiday get-togethers will help limit your consumption of unhealthy party foods.
  • Limit your consumption of alcohol, which adds calories and affects your ability to make decisions about healthy eating.
  • Choose fresh fruit as a festive and sweet substitute for candy.
  • Select just one or two of your favorites from the host of tempting foods.
  • Find fun ways to stay active, such as dancing to your favorite holiday music. Be active for at least 2½ hours a week. Help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day.
So let’s enjoy the holidays but let’s not mess around. Enjoy your treats but balance them with healthy meals the rest of the time. And move - burn that fat off (more on holiday exercising next week)!