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Nov 26

Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating

Many traditional holiday meals are full of fat and calories. Do you plan to include at least one out-of-the-norm healthy dish for your family this year? Here are some tricks that are proven to help reduce or avoid the holiday bulge:

1) Eat the best-for-you offerings first. For example, hot soup as a first course (especially when it is broth-based and not cream-based) can help you avoid eating too much during the main course.

2) Stand more than an arm’s length away from munchies, like a bowl of nuts or chips, while you chat so you are not tempted to raise your hand to your mouth every few seconds.

3) Concentrate on your meal while you’re eating it. Focus on chewing your food well and enjoying the smell, taste, and texture of each item. Research shows that mealtime multi-tasking can make you pop mindless calories into your mouth.

4) Avoid fast-food places that emphasize red in their color schemes. Red has been shown to stimulate the appetite more than many other colors.  Many restaurants add it to their decor, in everything from the flowers on the table to the squiggles on the plates.

5) Keep track of what you eat.  Maintain a food diary to help you stay committed to your goals during this risky eating period.

6) Zip yourself into your favorite pair of slim-fitting pants once a week and note how they fit. Too tight? Adjust your eating and exercise habits. Just right? Keep up the good work.

A fun way to jumpstart your activity level is the Live Healthy Iowa 1o-Week Wellness Challenge. More info can be found at Registration opens December 26, and the program starts in January. Ringgold participants should enter LHIRINGGOLD in the Group ID box to join. If you would like more information or want to be involved, please call Ringgold County Public Health at 641-464-0691