Embrace the Holiday Season without tipping the scale

Contributing Columnist

With the holiday season right around the corner, you may be feeling anxiety over balancing your healthy lifestyle in addition to celebrations to attend, events to host, and gifts to buy. Whether you are attending or hosting an event, or visiting the mall for holiday shopping, there are temptations everywhere. With a little preparation and foresight, you can still make your health a priority and even inspire others to do the same. Here are some strategies that I personally practice in order to avoid common downfalls during the holiday season.

Strategy 1/As soon as the Turkey is in the oven, I go for a nice 30 minute jog or a power walk on the beach. When you

schedule a little exercise earlier in the day, you will feel in control for the rest of the day and you won’t skip this healthy habit.

Strategy 2/ The most common mistake people make is not to eat all day to save calories for the big Holiday meal. This usually results in a significant blood-sugar drop which will cause you to be hungry and overeat. So, continue to eat small, frequen

Strategy 3/Avoid going on AUTOPILOT: Why do you reach for another cookie or handful of chips when the foods you lust for are high in calories and not your best nutrition options? Knowing that you’ve had the peak taste experience, why can’t you stop eating?The problem may be that you go on autopilot. You’re in a zone and don’t think about applying breaks. Diverting your attention from the food helps as well as avoiding multi-tasking. Take a taste of whatever you desire, then do something


a little bit distracting. Play with the kids, walk to pick up the mail, take a phone call but all while you put the remaining food out of sight.  You’ll remember that you ate what you craved, but not that you only had a small amount, according to a recent study on delaying hunger and craving: In an experiment, one group of adults was given larger portions of apple pie, potato chips and chocolate for a total of 1,370 calories. A second group was offered only a couple of bites of the same snacks for a total of 195 calories. Both groups were asked to rate their hunger and craving before the food was offered and 15 minutes after the taste test.After 15 minutes both groups were equally satisfied. The key to keep in mind is that the stomach doesn’t have much of a memory. The recall is as vivid as if we had a lot of food.t meals throughout the day which will give you great energy and balance to withstand temptations more effectively! Focus on grilled, broiled, baked or steamed protein and non-starchy vegetables. Keep sauces, gravies, and condiments off to the side.

Strategy 4/ The three-bite rule: When you really want to indulge, limit yourself to three bites. Why? The first bite is as good as you think it’s going to be, flavorful and delicious. The second bite is also good but not as good as the first bite. By the third bite, the food isn’t going to taste any better, so you might as well stop. Scientists believe that after the first three bites, the sense of taste starts losing its sensitivity and stops being so good. Thus, keeping the taste pleasure high from these first bites can help you stop eating when you feel full and comfortable. You can apply this to desert or to any other high calorie food such as casseroles.

Although it makes sense to break the mental chain after you have had the first bite, make your first bite matter!  Keep in mind that most holiday cookies, candies, and other treats are at least 150 calories per ounce. That’s more than a full tablespoon of butter. If you eat 10 morsels, you could gain a half pound of fat at one party!

Please submit any questions, comments or future topic suggestions to dkohlenberger@lbknews.com. Dominique Kohlenberger has a masters degree in Physical Therapy; she is a certified Health Coach, Board member of the Stroke Association of Florida and owner of Healthy Longevity on Longboat Key.




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