WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — From Thanksgiving until New Years, people are attending office parties and family gatherings. With that, it gets easy to overindulge the sweet treats. Civilian Health Promotions Services of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base can help keep on track to avoid gaining those extra pounds while we celebrate the holiday season.
Sarah Baker, CHPS health promotion coordinator, has some tips to help avoid overeating and gaining extra pounds. She recommends that individuals be aware of their triggers – identify what food items make them eat more of and try the following:
– Eat a small, healthy snack before arriving to a party. It is easy to eat more if arriving 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 people, so keep fresh produce out and readily available instead of cookies and candies.
– Be mindful – try to not eat while multitasking. Socializing with friends and family is great but avoid eating while driving, watching tv or working.
Building a better holiday plate
– Bulk up the 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 all the needed nutrients, plus it is more likely to be high in fat and calories.
– Be picky with 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 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,” Baker said. “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.”
CHPS will offer a “Healthy for the Holidays” class 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 19 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, visit the website at AFMCwellness.com or its Facebook page at https:///www.facebook.com/WrightPattersonCHPS.