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How Can We Prepare for the Holidays?

 

To me,  eating is fundamental, especially, this time of year! All the holiday parties and gatherings are enough to drive you insane if you have to worry about indulging too much, right? Has this happened to you? Well, just relax and put your mind at ease because here are a few suggestions that you might consider in order to avoid the guilty feelings as you eat over the holiday.

The Glycemic Index

The Glycemic Index (GI) will help you determine what foods will not cause the insulin spike that most definitely results in fat storage. It is an invaluable tool and you’d be surprised by the types of foods that qualify as “low-glycemic”. Foods like sweet potato, banana, oatmeal, popcorn, spaghetti, and brown rice are low in GI ranking. This means you can usually be safe to have these types of foods without the risk of adding extra body fat. Although everything looks great and delicious and you discover that, based on your GI reference, many foods are acceptable, make sure you resist the temptation to eat all that you can put on your plate and in your mouth. Keep the portions that you choose small. Instead of two slices of cake, have a half of one and top it off with a scoop of low-fat ice cream. Many times our eyes are bigger than our taste buds and we “visually over-eat”. Visually over-eating is when you see so much good food and just pile it on your plate whether or not your body can handle it. Remember, it takes approximately twenty minutes for your brain to realize a sense of satiety or fullness. Eating small portions at a slow pace can help reduce your chance of over-eating.

The most important and over-looked aspect of the holiday season is exercise! Why? I’ve heard it time and time again. The same old excuse! It’s the holiday and implicitly that means a “break” from exercise with the intent to start full steam ahead in the New Year! Big, big, big mistake! The holiday is probably the most important time of the year to exercise. With all the festivities that you will most likely take part in, it is especially important to continue to maintain your exercise regime. Whether it’s cardio, weight training, running, or boot camp, you MUST maintain your activity to avoid the possibility of gaining excess fat during the holiday. It is most likely the best time to exercise. No one wants to spend time working out during the holidays. They are spending their time doing other “more” important activities like, eating, eating, and more eating, watching football, eating, going to the mall and stressing out over how crowded and congested things are. So this holiday season, plan to eat in moderation, focus on time with family and friends and be sure that you are making the best food choices possible.

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