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Avoiding packing on the pounds during the holiday season

Diverting your attention away from food and focus on other activities is one of many ways to avoid gaining weight during the holiday season. The Civilian Health Promotions Services can help keep you on track and will offer a "Healthy for the Holiday" class on Dec. 19 at 11:30 a.m. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Rich Oriez)

Diverting your attention away from food and focus on other activities is one of many ways to avoid gaining weight during the holiday season. The Civilian Health Promotions Services can help keep you on track and will offer a "Healthy for the Holiday" class on Dec. 19 at 11:30 a.m. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Rich Oriez)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – During the holidays, do you find yourself overindulging in the pies, cakes, and cookies? Civilian Health Promotions Services can help keep you on track to avoid gaining those extra pounds while we celebrate the holiday season. 


From Thanksgiving until New Years, people are attending office parties and family gatherings. With that, we tend to overindulge on those sweet treats. 

 

Sarah Baker, CHPS Health Promotion Coordinator, has some tips that can help you avoid overeating and gaining those extra pounds:

 

  • Be aware of your triggers – Identify what food items make you eat more of and try the following:
    • Eat a small healthy snack before arriving to a party – you will eat more if you arrive hungry
    • Stay hydrated – thirst can be mistaken for hunger.
    • Put all sweets and treats out of sight – sometimes just the site of food is a trigger for most people, so keep fresh produce out and readily available instead of cookies and candies. 
    • Be mindful – try to not eat while multitasking during other things. Socializing with friends and family is great but avoid eating while driving, watching tv, or working. 
  • Building a better holiday plate
    • Bulk up your plate with the lower calorie and lower fat options first. Food items like broth based soups, salads or anything with primarily fruits, vegetables, whole grains or lean protein. Then go back and add some other “goodies” later.
    • Pay attention to portion sizes or use smaller plates and utensils.
    • Eat the rainbow – different color fruits and vegetables have different vitamins and minerals and eating a plate full of beige food usually isn’t going to give you all the nutrients you need, plus is more likely to be high in fat and calories.  
  • Be picky with your indulgences
    • If you don’t love it don’t eat it. Forget about the clean plate club, if you have a big side of mac and cheese or your aunt’s pecan pie and you take a bite that doesn’t result with you thinking, “oh my gosh this is fantastic,” then don’t eat it.  
  • Be aware of liquid calories
    • Soda, juice, eggnog and alcohol all are wasted high sugar calories with most having no nutritional value, can really add up. 
  • Divert your attention away from the food
    • Focus on the people and conversations, play a fun board game, or better yet, do something active outdoors.   

“Last but not least, plan to fall off track so if and when you do slip you’ll know how to get back on track and not beat yourself up about it.  If you have a holiday party with friends the night before and you overindulge, sign up for a morning aerobics class or plan to meet a friend at a nearby metro park, prep some healthy meals for the next day.  Something that will allow you to get back to those healthy habits that will get you feeling your best,” said Baker. 

CHPS will offer a “Healthy for the Holidays” class on Dec. 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in building 262, room B217.  The class will offer tips on how to have a healthier holiday season.

 

For additional information on CHPS or to see the list and schedule of classes offered, go to their website at AFMCwellness.com or on their Facebook page at  https:///www.facebook.com/WrightPattersonCHPS.