Moderate your holiday indulgence for effective health management

No one ever wrote a holiday song about moderation.

It’s “Deck the Halls…” and “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…” and “On the first day of Christmas…” – you know, more of this and more of that. The extravagance goes on and on and on.

Moderation is not a welcome concept in this season of excess and over-indulgence. But a little restraint will go a long way toward surviving the next several weeks of parties, gatherings and events decked out with sugary sweet treats and calories by the Crock-Pot®. When one instead of two will do, you’re more likely to be able to drop “weight loss” off your list of 2014 New Year’s resolutions.

I’ve touched on the principle of moderation in prior columns, and the basic principles hold true year-’round, although holding back is more difficult when you’re surrounded by all the seasonal delights.

I will confess – I have an insatiable sweet tooth. Sweets tickle my fancy in a basic, primal way. If left to my own devices, I would eat dessert first and then, only if I still had an appetite, I would turn to more nutritious fare. It is a huge struggle for me, during this season, to maintain control of my cravings for all things sweet.

So, how in the world do we cope with these primal urges and the cornucopia of "sinful" delights that call to us from every direction and location?

My personal solution: Give in.

OK, I know what you’re thinking. Giving in doesn’t make sense when you’re talking about moderation.

But giving in doesn’t mean eating the entire pie, cake, box of candy, or (insert whatever calls you at this time of year). It’s OK to have a small portion of whatever seems to be tugging at your taste buds. It’s important, though, to understand the caloric density of that treat you want to eat and know just how much exercise you will need to do in order to burn off the same amount of calories. That’s the trick to maintaining the target weight you have worked so hard to achieve. 

Exercise is a critical component of your health and wellness. Your exercise program and healthy eating patterns should remain a part of your routine 365 days a year. There is no better way to meet the potentially over-indulgent holidays. You’ll have more energy, less stress, and will maintain a healthy weight.

So go ahead. Take a bite of that holiday delight. Just remember that you worked really hard to get where you are over the last year and you don't want to ruin it in the last remaining weeks of 2013. Keep moderation front and center in your thoughts, continue to exercise your way through the holidays, and you’ll need to come up with new resolutions for the New Year because weight loss will no longer be on the list.

Have a safe, wonderful, happy and healthy holiday season.

Just for kicks, what holiday songs can you name that mention food?


Crock-Pot® is a trademark of Sunbeam Products, Inc.

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