The Norman Transcript

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January 5, 2014

Staying healthy for the holidays

NORMAN — Q: How can I avoid overeating during the holiday season?

A: With the holiday season just around the corner many people are afraid of gaining those extra pounds. Sticking to a few tips may help prevent the extra weight gain so commonly experienced by many of us.

· Don’t deprive yourself: This is the holiday season — be realistic. Tell yourself it’s OK to have those special dishes you have been waiting all year for; just not to the point of getting sick. Make sure portion sizes are realistic.

· Planning: If you know you are going to indulge in a large holiday-themed dinner that night, go lighter on breakfast and lunch and focus on nutritionally dense foods such as fiber rich fruits and veggies, as well as lean protein.

· Wait before getting seconds: It takes the receptors in our stomach 20 minutes to inform our brain we are full. Once you have eaten to the point of fullness you typically have over eaten and will be left with that “stuffed” feeling. Give yourself 20 minutes between servings to determine if you really need the extra helping.

· Drink water: Make sure to drink a glass of water prior to your meals. Also, If you are consuming alcoholic beverages, commit to drinking one glass of water in between each beverage to avoid becoming dehydrated and to slow down the rate at which you are consuming empty calories.

· Fill up on fruits and veggies: Fill up on the lighter, healthier appetizers and side dishes prior to indulging in the more calorically dense dishes. You may find you are too full to indulge too much

For nutritional counseling, Norman Regional Health System offers the guidance of registered dietitians. Those interested can schedule an appointment for an assessment with a referral from their family physician.

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