Stay fit to fight this holiday season
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- With Thanksgiving behind us and the holiday season in full swing, many holidays and the New Year will be here before we know it.
Keeping this in mind, it's good to have a healthy mentality throughout the holiday season so you don't end up looking like a stuffed turkey when it's all said and done.
Gaining weight during the holiday season is normal. The average American gains seven to 10 pounds during the holidays and doesn't lose the weight until Valentine's Day, according to the International Health Awareness Center.
However, it is everyone's responsibility to stay active during the holiday season so you don't have to feel like a new you in all the wrong ways come Jan. 1. If you stay active and exercise, weight gain during the holiday season can be reduced or avoided all together.
"It's being proactive versus reactive," said Maj. Cynthia Pouncey, 35th Medical Group health operations flight commander. "Preventing weight gain is a lot easier than dealing with it later. Having a game plan and thinking about the before, during and after can lead you in the right direction."
Along with exercising, a few easy steps can help you achieve a healthy holiday and avoid putting on extra weight.
Pouncey said her top five steps to making sure your holidays stay healthy are:
1. Be realistic; don't try to lose weight during the holidays. Maintain the current weight you are at.
2. Bring a low-calorie snack to the party so if there isn't anything you want to eat you know you have yourself covered.
3. While cooking your holiday meal and cleaning afterwards, chew sugarless gum to avoid eating food on the side. Pouncey said that nearly to a whole meal can be eaten before the actual meal begins because of mindless nibbling.
4. Avoid alcohol at your holiday party; it is empty calories and lowers your inhibitions so you eat more and won't want to exercise.
5. When you are going to get a plate, take half the servings of your favorites so when you go for seconds you don't have to feel like you have overeaten because in reality it equals one plate.
"Little things go a long way," said Pouncey. "If you follow these simple steps when preparing and eating your holiday meals, then you will have nothing to worry about."
If you are having a difficult time starting your holiday routine go to www.choosemyplate.gov to see what your plate should look like for a standard meal.
"Even if you haven't applied any of these steps during Thanksgiving, there is no time like the present," said Pouncey. "It's not too late to put them into affect for the rest of the season."
If you have any questions about nutrition or how to improve your holiday diet, call the Health and Wellness Center at 226-6550.