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Thursday, November 6,2014

Avoiding “distasteful” habits of Thanksgiving

By Ashley Dixon

It’s November which means it’s time to eat and time to shop. Thanksgiving is one of the biggest holidays to feast and spend time with family. The biggest disadvantage of Thanksgiving is weight gain, but this can be controlled by avoiding these “distasteful” habits.

Eating more than you would normally eat: With all the food on the table, the tendency would be to eat everything you see, but this can contribute to holiday weight gain. On average, weight gain during the holidays can be roughly 5 pounds. The best way to avoid this is to stick to a normal “non-holiday” food portions and take food you didn’t get a chance to sample to-go or save it for another meal.

Eating Excessive Desserts: Dessert is common during this holiday, but calories must always be considered. A serving size of traditional holiday pies are an average of 330 calories per slice. To avoid gorging on the sweet treats, try not taking dessert home or accepting an entire pie. Limit dessert to once a day and decrease serving size.

Eat then Sleep: The feast is done, the belly is full, the couch is comfortable, and it’s time to take a nap. Thanksgiving food usually contains higher than normal levels of carbs and turkey, which contains Tryptophan, an amino acid that aids in mood and sleep. It’s no wonder drowsiness is common after eating. Turkey actually contains the appropriate amount of tryptophan, so one way to avoid this habit is to lower your carb intake per meal. Load up on the vegetables and keep the food pyramid for portions in mind.

Lack of Exercise: It’s Thanksgiving, gyms are usually closed, and exercise is nothing but a memory. This can be avoided by making working out a family activity. Take a stroll in the park or play an outdoor game to increase activity and burn calories between meals.

This is the time of year to be thankful for family, friends, and most importantly, health. Have a great Thanksgiving and be well.


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