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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Over-indulging isn’t just for the holidays

There's so much good food around during the holidays that many of us have a hard time controlling our eating. The problem is that we have the temptation to overindulge not only during the holidays but at all the other special occasions that come along during the year.  There is Valentine’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, birthday parties for family and friends and the list goes on and on. 

We need to have a plan so that we enjoy these get-togethers and we don’t feel guilty because we are overindulging.
·         First, make it simple to eat healthy when at home. When making brown rice, barley or other whole grain to have with dinner, make enough to freeze for use as a quick side dish on a busy evening.  Use fat-free milk and liquid margarine for white sauce. When baking, use egg whites or egg substitute instead of whole eggs.
·         Keep fresh fruit visible, in a bowl on the table, counter or at the front of the refrigerator, and keep stocked on fresh, canned (in water or juice) and frozen fruit, so it's always available as a quick snack. Snacking on fruit (and fresh vegetables, such as carrots, grape tomatoes and green peppers) will help fill you up and help you resist the urge to overindulge on high-calorie temptations.
·         When eating out, avoid dishes with creamy sauces or gravy -- that's a signal that the dish is likely high in calories and saturated fat. Choose steamed, grilled or broiled dishes instead of those that are fried or sautéed, and resolve not to clean your plate.
·         Know proper portion sizes. Or, when serving yourself at meals or parties, try taking just half of what you might normally and see if that amount satisfies you.
·         One final idea: Keep moving. Get 30 minutes of activity per day (split it up into three 10-minute bursts if that's easier to schedule). Not only will it help you burn extra calories, but the next time you're tempted to overindulge, it will serve as a good reminder of what you'll have to do to work off any extra pounds.
Remember we all want and need to enjoy all the get-togethers throughout the year with our family and friends and we surely don’t need the bad feelings that over-indulgence brings.  Have a healthy and happy 2012.