Don’t fall backDid you know? Feasting doesn't have to be fattening
I apologize for getting a bit off track with my last column. At the suggestion of my part-time mail carrier and full-time fitness advisor, Bud Dirscherl, I planned to write about the time change and holiday eating habits, but as you know, my train of thought was hijacked by the TSA. (I didn’t even know TSA messed with trains.)
Now, neatly patted down and relaxed, I can focus on this timely reminder: With Thanksgiving just a week away, and Christmas hot on its heels, (just because you set your clock back) you don’t need to “fall back” into the bad eating habits that packed on the pounds over past holidays.
Believe me, I know how this happens. Just the other day I was shopping and GO (Grocery Outlet) where I was in the checkout lane behind a nice little old lady (the Grandmother type) whose buggy was overflowing with jars of peanut butter, regular butter, flour, milk, sugar … and topping it off were 20-something jars of maraschino cherries.
I knew that every cherry in those jars would find its way atop a butter cookie, or worse yet, into a fruitcake. (Now there’s a hot topic for a future column!) And those jars of peanut butter would morph into round little bites of concentrated diet gridlock. I said to the lady, “I know what you’re up to!” And she shot back with a scornful look followed by a devilish, grandmotherly smile.
This sweet lady was getting ready to bake holiday goodies, and you can’t blame her. People have the best intentions this time of year, but that doesn’t mean you have to look their gift horses in the mouth, even if they have nuts on them.
Nuts! Now there’s a particular weakness of mine, and right now my dear friends Jim and Heidi Taylor are getting ready to make a huge batch of peanut brittle. For the past 25 years they have sent me a pound or more of this wonderful delicacy. And every year I put off opening the package as long as possible, because I know — once I open the tin ... the peanut brittle will be gone in a day.
I’m sure all of us have a weakness this time of year, but — Did you know? — The real skinny is this: The average American’s weight gain over the holidays is just a little over a pound. Amazing! I can do that in a week.
All the same, here are some tips to help you look less like Santa over the next couple of months: (1) Increase your daily exercise; (2) Drink lots and lots of water — not the kind with grain, malt and hops in it; (3) Cut back on meals before and after holiday feasts. That’s the least you can do. DYK — The average Thanksgiving meal contains over 7,000 calories.
(4) Finally, eat the foods you like, but only a few bites. That way you get to enjoy your favorites, but not overeat.
I think this is called moderation — a concept that has always eluded me.