Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tips to Curb Holiday Overeating

The holiday season means feasts, festivities and lots of food.  And, if you're naughty, Santa might bring you an extra five pounds around your waistline.

Now that the Holidays are approaching, how can families ensure that they don’t overeat?

1.       Exercise more in weeks before the Holidays. This will help you burn extra calories that you may eat during holidays or periods of stress.

2.       Eat breakfast. This will help control your hunger throughout the day and help you avoid overindulging. 

3.       Lighten up the recipes. Try using fat free or sugar free ingredients in your favorite recipes to cut down on the calories.

4.       Watch your portion sizes. Skip the temptation of a second helping and enjoy a desert instead. There will be leftovers for tomorrow to enjoy again!

5.       Slowly saver your food. Eating slowly will help you to feel full and satisfied without over-indulging.

Everyone overeats sometimes.

If you eat too much, wait until you are hungry again to eat.  Rather than continuing to eat out of guilt or by the clock, listen to your body.  It probably won't need food as soon so you may not be hungry for your usual snack or even your next meal.

When you get hungry again, ask yourself, "What do I want?" and "What do I need?"  Don't punish yourself or try to compensate for overeating by restricting yourself.  If you try to make yourself eat foods you don't really want, you'll feel deprived and fuel your eat-repent-repeat cycle. Trust and respect what your body tells you because it's likely that it will naturally seek balance, variety, and moderation.  You might notice that you're hungry for something small or something light-maybe a bowl of soup or cereal, a piece of fruit or a salad.

Lastly, don't use exercise to punish yourself for overeating.  Fitness is a fun way to maintain your weight year-round while adding muscle and increasing self-esteem.  Be active all the time and use the fuel you consume to live a full and satisfying life.

Happy holiday eating!

Visit www.FitnessForHealth.org for more information about Fitness for Health’s exercise programs for adults and children.

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