Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


November 14, 2012

Fitness column: Talking turkey about holiday weight gain


Before starting on dessert, go for a short walk. Take the kids with you so you can't all get yelled at for briefly leaving the table. By the time you get back, your body should be pretty close to telling you how full you actually are. Try a taste of the desserts while sharing with someone so you eat less and don’t feel bad about leaving some on the plate. Desserts and snacks contain an abundance of calories that will surprise you. How else would they taste so good?

There, you’ve tried almost everything, your belly is happy, your taste buds are excited, and you’ll be invited back to holiday dinner next year. A great tip for men is to wear a belt. If the belt gets tight don't unbuckle your pants. If you do, you’ve lost the battle, my friend.

If you plan on eating too much and want to disregard everything I just said, then your only choice is to expend as many calories you take in that put you over your daily caloric intake. For example, if your body needs 1,500 calories to maintain your current weight and you take in 2,500 each day for a week, then you better burn at least 1,000 calories a day or expect two more pounds of fat by the end of the week.

Stacy Gillis

Certified personal trainer/figure competitor

Elite Personal Training Studio

Eating healthy around the holidays can be very challenging. The good news is you can still enjoy the holidays without gaining 10 pounds. When it comes to preparing holiday foods, try to use lighter ingredients, such as skim milk in those mashed potatoes instead of whole milk, or better yet serve sweet potatoes. Try using plain yogurt instead of sour cream for dips. Make your plate colorful with lots of fresh vegetables. Fill up on turkey on Thanksgiving instead of all the high carb sides. If you do indulge in a dessert make it a special holiday specific dessert such as pumpkin pie, not something you would eat year round.

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