NELSON: Maintain, don’t gain during holidays

Published 6:27 pm Saturday, December 9, 2017

Many weight-and health-conscious people dread the holidays for an obvious reason: too much food in too little time.

Studies show Americans gain an average of 5-7 pounds from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.

“It’s amazing how many calories a person can eat at one holiday feast, and that’s not counting eating seconds or if you’re like me counting all the snitches and tasting I do while preparing that feast.”

However, there are some things one can do to prevent weight gain during the holidays.

Watch grazing and portion sizes: It’s easy to be unaware of how much you eat as you graze doing the holidays.

Between snacking on appetizers at parties, grabbing a Christmas cookie at the office, or sampling goodies while shopping, grazing can add up to a lot of extra calories.

Also, it’s easy to eat portion sizes that are too large (my grandmother call that having “eyes larger than your stomach”); you put more on your plate than you can eat.

Prevent overindulging by not sampling while you are preparing a dish; you don’t have to sample every dish and don’t be the human garbage disposal that is eating the food left on your kids or spouses’ plate.

Prevent weight gain by selecting low-fat foods for cooking and trimming excess fat from meats before cooking.

Substitute lower fat ingredients while cooking and preparing dishes.

Some common substitutes are using low fat, evaporated or skim milk instead of cream in recipes; use reduced fat mayonnaise instead of regular mayonnaise; use low-fat yogurt or sour cream instead of their full fat counterparts.

These are just a few substitutions that you can make to lower the fat content of your meals.

Also today’s grocery stores are full of low fat, non-fat and low-sugar and sugarless ingredients that can be substituted in recipes without a major change in the taste.

Make and keep a few rules.

For instance if holiday grazing is a problem for you, consider making a rule that you will only eat one cookie, treat or drink and them stop.

Also, freeze leftovers to be used for a later meal. Don’t continue to eat those high fat leftovers for days after the holiday meal.

Don’t forget to continue with your exercise plan and drink water as required.

The holidays are a joyful time for family reunions, get-togethers, good times and fine food.

Using a little moderation and common sense can do wonders for holiday dining. Reducing the amount eaten will give holiday diners one less thing to worry about during and after the holidays.