Let the holidays begin!
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s time once again to launch the season of marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes . . . cornbread drenched in melted butter . . . and the sugar-loaded soft drinks and cocktails that all too often inflame our appetites and lead to massive over-eating.
Let’s face it, my friends: for many of us, the holiday season has long been a license to gorge on huge helpings of calorie-loaded mashed potatoes and grease-laden turkey stuffing (along with the 20-ounce cola drinks and the snack-time goodies) which can trigger a runaway fat attack.
But let’s hang on a minute. Before we dive into that second piece of gooey pecan pie, let’s ask ourselves: do we really have to consume all those thousands of fat-building calories in order to celebrate the holidays with good fellowship and good will to all?
Surprisingly enough, the answer is a resounding “no”!
For all of us who’ve taken the DMC 61 Day Health Challenge Pledge to abstain from sugary drinks, fried foods and “junk foods” until the end of the year, the good news is that there’s a better way to enjoy the holidays than stuffing ourselves with needless calories.
So what’s the first step on the road to making sure this holiday season doesn’t leave you feeling like a leftover stuffed sausage at the end of a Roman banquet?
The answer can be found in a single word: moderation.
To understand why that word is so important, consider this single fact: the typical Thanksgiving feast at grandma’s place (turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potato, mashed potato, cornbread, greens, pumpkin or pecan pie with whipped cream and beer, wine or spirits for the adults) often adds up to a whopping 3,500 calories . . . which turns out to be the same number of calories contained in a pound of fat.
A disturbing thought?
You bet it is. Now add in the “extras” that so often accompany the holidays (those chocolate doughnuts for breakfast at grandma’s, and the pizza-blowout at lunchtime, with plenty of peppermint sticks and cheesy-flapdoodles in between) . . . and you can see why this time of year is such a calorie-trap for all of us.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
To avoid the dangers of overeating and overdrinking during the holidays, a really helpful strategy is: eat and drink more slowly than usual . . . while also eating less of each item on the menu.
And while we’re at it, here are a few other holiday “tips” designed to help us achieve moderation and cut down on the holiday calorie-count.
- Eat a small, low-fat and high-fiber meal (fruit salad and a cereal bar?) before that giant feast at grandma’s, so you’ll feel less temptation to gorge on the mashed potatoes.
- Drink less alcohol before the feast . . . since alcohol is notorious for its ability to inspire the human appetite.
- A half-hour before the Big Dining Event, fill up on water or a sugar-free beverage.
- As the holiday meal begins in earnest, follow the “Three-Quarters Rule” by loading 75 percent of your plate with non-fatty, low-sugar foods such as vegetables, fruit salad and lean meat.
My friends, there’s no doubt that the holidays represent a special challenge for all of us who’ve taken the “DMC Pledge” to improve our health by cutting back on sugar and exercising more between now and the end of the calendar year.
But there’s also no doubt that we can meet that challenge . . . by using our heads and thinking about every forkful and spoonful we put into our mouths at this festive time of the year.
Here’s wishing all of us a joyful, happy and healthy holiday season, as we gather to say thanks for all our blessings in 2014!
[To learn more about the DMC 2014 61 Day Health Challenge and how it can help all of us to cut back on sugar and exercise more during the holiday season, just click on: www.61daychallenge.com]