The Pryor Times

November 23, 2013

Avoid packing on holiday pounds

Staff Writer
Cydney Baron

PRYOR, OK — Despite the holiday's reputation to cause dieters to pack on the pounds, Taking Off Pounds Sensibly Pryor chapter 142, is approaching Thanks-

giving with their heads held high.

At the regular Thursday meeting, the group discussed ways to make it through the holiday season unscathed.

“Experts estimate that by the end of the holiday benging season, the average American will have packed on as much as five to seven pounds,” said chapter leader Karen Jackson.

Jackson told the group to start by planning.

“Know where you're going and what's being served. It's easier to be prepared when you know what you're up against,” said Jackson, who said it is also OK to politely pass on food items.

“One option is to plan your day around holiday meals. For example, if you are going to a dinner party, scale back breakfast and lunch accordingly. If the event is potluck, offer to bring something you know fits in your calorie allowance,” said Jackson. “Experts say, if saying no to treats altogether sounds like too much of a sacrifice, limit yourself to one serving or sample.”

Jackson stressed the TOPS emphasis on portion control.

Jackson said to beware of delicious beverages that sneak calories into the holiday season.

“Drink water ahead of time and you won't arrive as hungry. Holiday drinks like eggnog and hot cocoa are full of calories, switch to water and avoid drinking your calories,” said Jackson.

Another tip, she said, is to avoid nibbling.

“The calories consumed while grazing on sweet treats and snacks  adds up pretty quickly. Keep fruits and veggies on hand for healthy choices,” said Jackson. “Also, it is difficult to avoid sampling food when you spend the day cooking. One way to avoid doing so is to chew a piece of minty gum while cooking, it will deter you from taste testing everything.”

Jackson encouraged the group to create a new holiday tradition centered around healthy eating or physical activity. She recommended going apple picking as a family, caroling or taking a walking tour to see Christmas lights.

“Our social events and family holidays are often planned around food,” said Jackson. “Try to eliminate the term diet. Like our TOPS, 'The Choice is Mine' book tells us, diets are temporary and usually fail. Creating a healthy lifestyle, however, sets us up for long-term success.”

Jackson said there's no reason you can't get through the holidays without seeing the scale move higher and higher if you change the focus of the season from food to family.

TOPS Pryor chapter 142 meets Thursdays at the First Freewill Baptist Church in Pryor, from 4:45 p.m. until 6 p.m. For more information call Jackson at 918-825-0631.