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10:34 AM Mon, Nov. 19th

Column | Planning will help keep you in control through the holidays

Just because Christmas is here and New Year’s Day is right around the corner, it doesn’t have to mean that all is lost as far as our weight is concerned.

Hi, this is Eunice from Diet Center.

Do you have a plan to get through the holidays? Good planning can help prevent holiday weight gain.

Take a little time to think about possible problems that might come up. Maybe you’re expecting holiday treats as gifts, planning on baking sweets, or attending parties. Think about strategies for handling these situations.

You can take candy or food to work and share with coworkers. Revise recipes to use low fat or fat free ingredients.

Whatever you plan on doing, write down your strategies. This will help make your plans more permanent. Also, you will have it to reflect upon after the holidays.

You might find yourself thinking “it’s OK to indulge a little here and there.”

This can be a problem if you allow yourself to overindulge at several holiday gatherings. Instead of telling yourself that you’ll get back on track after the first, remind yourself that you can stay in control and not eat mindlessly. You can be picky about what you eat and keep things in moderation. You can choose to pass on holiday treats that aren’t your favorites.

If you allow yourself a little treat, don’t be hard on yourself. Remember you are in control of what happens next. You can choose to get right back on track and consume foods and appropriate serving sizes.

If you think a little extra treat here and there won’t harm your weight loss efforts, think again. Appetizers, goodies and beverages can add up to a lot of calories. The following are common holiday treats and the amounts of calories they provide:

• ½ cup eggnog=170 calories

• ½ cup eggnog with rum=270 calories

• 5 ounces of wine=100 calories

• 12 ounces of light beer=100 calories

• 1 regular candy cane=110 calories

• One 2 ½ “sugar” cookie=65 calories

• 1 slice of fruitcake=140 calories

• 5 crackers=80 to 100 calories

• One 1 “cube” of hard cheese=110 calories

• 1 handful of mixed nuts=170 calories.

Consider the extra calories you would consume if you select these items instead of fruits, vegetable sticks, and nonalcoholic beverages.

Smart snacking can help you get through the holidays in a healthy way. Consuming regular, nutritious snacks will help you feel full, keep your energy levels up, and help curb your appetite so you can resist temptation. Some foods that are smart to snack on include high fiber fruits and vegetables, which have a high-water content. For example, you can consume fresh or dried fruits instead of sugar cookies and candy canes. Instead of regular sodas or fruit juice; you can choose diet soda or water. Instead of crackers high in starch and/or fat; you can select air-popped popcorn, unsweetened cereal, or nuts to munch on.

Thank you for reading Diet Center’s tip of the week.

If you need help achieving your weight loss goals, please call today at 928-753-5066.