Ester Marsh: Getting through the holidays without packing on the pounds

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 4, 2021

Can you believe Christmas is right around the corner? Times are still crazy but we must have hope!

The holidays are great to share love, respect, caring and yes, food. However, with planning, continuing (or starting) an exercise routine, giving the body the foods it needs, proper hydration you can make it through the holidays and not gain the average 7 to 10 pounds many Americans gain through the season.

Hopefully the following will give you some helpful tools to get you through the holidays strong and healthy with little or no weight gain.

• Don’t over commit to parties and functions. Even during this pandemic, plenty of people are holding holiday gatherings.

• Plan your exercise routine ahead and work it into your busy schedule. You might have to change the time of day sometime, but work it in!

• Weigh once a week. This way you don’t have this great shock when you finally stand on the scale in January.

• Log your foods. Writing down everything you eat makes you aware of the calories consumed. When you have a special occasion where you know you are going to blow your calories, be frugal with the rest of that day and increase your exercise time accordingly.

• Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Especially if you consume alcoholic drinks, water is very important. Alcohol dehydrates you, so in between drinks, have some water or sparkling water (still festive and plenty of choices).

• Eat a healthy and light meal before you go to a party or function. This way you won’t attack the snack table as soon as you walk through the door.

• Use a small plate if possible to get your food. You can only pile it so high! (Remember my column two weeks ago?)

• Wait 20 minutes before you go back for seconds. It takes the brain about that long to figure out that you are full. If you still have room for seconds in 20 minutes, go for it!

• Wear fitted clothes. It makes you more aware when you eat too much. Hopefully it will prevent you from eating too much.

• Most importantly, stay safe and remember why we celebrate. Treasure your family and friends and truthfully enjoy the holidays.

Ester H. Marsh is Health and Fitness Director JF Hurley Family YMCA.