Holiday Tips for Health

Thanksgiving is behind us and many are preparing for Christmas so I have to share this funny tidbit. Some of you may have seen something similar on Facebook....

This Christmas there are 3 rules:

1. Don’t go into debt showing people how much you love them.

2. Don’t go visit your family if it compromises your mental health.

3. If someone says something negative about your weight....eat them!

That being said many of us gain weight over the holidays between Halloween and New Years. Did you know it takes 500 calories above and beyond your daily needs for at least 7 days to gain one pound?

So, in preparation for these holidays eat sensible lite well balanced meals before and after your celebratory dish. Do not skip meals, you don’t want to start your celebration “starving” because then you will over indulge. There are always left overs to enjoy a second time. Keep in mind the first bite tastes just as good as the last!

Based on a 2000 calorie diet, a healthy eating style should consist daily of 2 cups of fruit, 2 1/2 cups of vegetables, 6oz of grain, 5 1/2 oz of protein, 3 cups of dairy.

> Focus on whole fruit-fresh, frozen, canned in natural juice not syrup and dried fruit, instead of juice. Choose a variety of vegetables to get all the vitamin and mineral benefits they have to offer-make sure to include dark greens, red and orange choices.

>Make half of your grains whole grains, check the ingredient list for whole oats, whole wheat flour, whole-grain corn, whole grain brown rice and whole rye. Foods that say “multi-grain”, 100% whole wheat”, “high fiber” or are brown in color may not be a whole grain product.

>Vary your protein to include seafood, unsalted nuts and seeds, low fat natural nut butters, beans, lentils, soy products, eggs, lean meats and poultry.

>Choose low fat or fat free milk and yogurt.

Now, not all adults require 2000 calories per day. Men tend to fall between 1800-2000 and women 1500-1800 calories.

I know you won’t always have your measuring cups in your back pocket so here are some “handy” tricks. The palm of your hand is equal to 3oz, your fist is the size of 1 cup or 8oz, the tip of your thumb is 1oz, a full cupped hand is 4oz or 1/2 cup. Some of you may be thinking we all have different size hands but the size of our hand is relative to the size of our body so it’s a good measuring tool in a pinch!

Keep your activity level up. While exercise is important; getting your heart rate up, working out your muscle groups, it’s just as important to stay active throughout the day. All activity counts! We’ve all heard “take the stairs, park further away, track your steps." This is good advice and it does make a difference. Adults should get at least 2 1/2 hours of exercise per week. For weight loss, studies show the best results with 90 minutes of exercise per day.

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Registered and Licensed Dietitians serving individuals in Springfield, MA and the surrounding area. 

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