Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


November 14, 2012

Fitness column: Talking turkey about holiday weight gain


Grab a plate, put your food on it, walk away, but also stay away from other snacking spots. Enjoy your selctions slowly, between conversations and sips of your beverage. By staying physically away from the food you are more likely to avoid mindless eating and losing track of the overall amount of food you consume.

Jamey Lachiana

Yang's Fitness Center

Exercise physiologist

We all know that “sticking to the meal plan” goes out the window during the holidays. One way to combat the extra calories is by increasing your movement. As hard as it is to find time, it’s necessary if you want to keep off the pounds.

When it comes to holiday dining, if you aren’t eating enough at my grandmother's dinner table, you will probably get a slab of ham thrown at you with an evil eye. Be that as it may, there are ways to satisfy your own needs and the relatives peering over your shoulder.

Pace yourself when you eat. Don’t hurry through your meals to fool your stomach into thinking it still has room for more. Try to start off with some nice salad greens with low fat or balsamic and oil dressing. Cheesy dressings are packed with fat calories. Salads are a great starter because they are filling. The stomach and hunger mechanisms work by how much volume is currently present so leafy vegetables and other fiber dense foods take up a nice amount of room to keep you satisfied longer.

Also, drinking lots of water with your meals help to fill the belly void as well. If you’re drinking alcohol, have at least glass of water for every beer or cocktail.

If there are multiple meats that you hope to get a taste of, instead of taking an entire slice, cut each piece in half or smaller. That way when your aunt asks you how it was, while shaking a rolling pin over your head, you can honestly tell her…it was fantastic.

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