Column | Planning helps being prepared to handle temptations and avoiding stressful situations

The holidays are right around the corner. For many that means family get-togethers, meeting up with friends and gatherings at work. Usually all of which revolve around food. There’s no need to panic about attending parties or other gatherings that involve food.

Hi this is Eunice from Diet Center.

Planning can help you be prepared to handle temptations or stressful situations.

Certain times of the year there may be many parties and special events to attend. Choose the events that are most important to you. If you’re worried about losing control around tasty treats, find a friend to go with you who may also be watching what they eat to lose weight. This way, you can keep each other on track.

Be aware of your triggers. Are you expecting your favorite foods to be served? Do you lack control when you’re by a buffet? Plan on setting a limit of one serving or bite of your favorite food. Plan on staying away from the buffet after you have filled your plate (with smaller portions and the healthiest food items available). Once you have your plate of food, pace yourself. Take time to savor what you’re eating and allow time for your brain to know that you’re full.

If stress causes you to give in to temptation, try taking time out for yourself. Take a walk, a relaxing bath, or read a chapter of a good book.

Avoid panicking about parties. It’s possible to enjoy yourself without overindulging, if you take time to prepare.

Here is another tip to help you to cope with your upcoming holiday. As you start going through your family recipes or favorite cook books remember that substituting ingredients with lower fat or fat free varieties can make a big difference. Making simple substitutions in your daily meals and recipes can make significant reductions in your calorie intake. Here are some examples of how many calories you can save substituting lower fat products for high fat ones:

• 1 cup skim milk instead of 1 cup whole milk = 60 calories.

• Substituting 8 egg whites for 4 Whole eggs = 188 calories.

• Nonstick cooking spray instead of oil or butter = 135 calories per tablespoon.

• Removing the skin from a five-ounce portion of chicken or turkey = 360 calories.

• Plain, nonfat yogurt instead of cream in recipes saves over 700 calories.

• Plain, nonfat yogurt instead of mayonnaise in dressing recipes saves over 480 calories per 1/3 cup.

• 1 Cup of a non-calorie sweetener in place of 1 cup of sugar saves 960 calories.

Start making these simple changes now so that as you are preparing those family favorites it will become second nature to use low fat and fat free ingredients.

Making small substitutions can make a big difference in the number of calories consumed. Thank you for reading Diet Center’s tip of the week. Diet Center is located at 1848 Hope Ave in Kingman or call 928-753-5066.