Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Holidays… Eat, Drink and Be Thin?

Happy Holidays… Eat, Drink and Be Thin?

By: Dave DePew

Good cheer toward all and festive yuletide wishes are typically piled on during the holiday season. Unfortunately, for many holiday revelers something less positive is piled on as well. While approximately 10% of Americans will potentially gain between five to seven pounds during the holiday season, the large majority of us will, on average, gain one to two pounds, according to a government study.

Three tips for carving the fat from your holiday:

1. Avoid starving yourself. You may think going all day without eating breakfast and lunch so that you can eat a nice holiday dinner is going to keep your calorie intake low, but it won’t. Instead, you are likely to end up eating more than you usually would in the long run.

2. Eat slowly. The busy holiday season has many of us devouring our meals in minutes, but when we eat too quickly we fail to allow our bodies enough time to send a signal to our brain that we our full and to stop eating. Slow down and chew food slowly.

3. Schedule physical activity. Physical activity is a great way to burn calories, suppress the appetite, and even deal with stress. Make it a scheduling priority in your busy day.

The Top Three Alcohol Beverages with the Fewest Calories:

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports alcoholic drinks second only to soft drinks in terms of being the most fattening. Most beers average below 150 calories per bottle and a glass of wine is approximately 120 calories. Generally, the amount of calories in liquor is directly related to the alcohol content. One ounce of vodka, whiskey or brandy at 50% alcohol averages 82 calories a serving; mixed with anything besides a diet soft drink and plan on additional calories.

How much exercise is needed to burn off that holiday party?

It depends on the individual. However, general guidelines suggest that one typical holiday meal with pumpkin pie runs about 1455 calories. To burn off those calories, expect to perform an estimated 3.75 hours of aerobic activities AND 3 hours of stationary cycling.

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