NDSU Extension Service - Burleigh County


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Holiday Waistline Worries!

I wouldn’t even say you need to take much time to plan, just mentally pause and be mindful of your health as you celebrate. You will thank yourself in mid-January. These tips will help you enjoy your holiday festivities without weight gain worry.

appetizers 1. Get moving - One of the best ways to manage your weight over the holidays (or anytime) is to simply move your body more.  So get out there and hang your Christmas lights or continue to decorate.  Physical activity adds up, and adults should strive for 30 minutes per day.

2. Choose beverages carefully - It’s easy to forget that holiday spirits and cocktails can provide just as many, if more calories that the foods we eat with minimal nutritional value.

3. Choose toppings carefully - Don’t skip the toppings, just cut down the amount you use. This includes gravy, butter, sour cream and other “extras” that we sometimes forget about when counting calories. 1 oz. of cheese = 3 stacked dice or 1 Tablespoon = 3 thumb tips.

Portion Size (Staying Wise About Portion Size)4. Use a small plate - Research has shown that no matter the size of the plate, we feel more satisfied when we can fill it up. The bigger the plate, the more we can and do fit onto it!

5. Make a mental note – Before you go to a party or sit down to a meal, give yourself some guidelines about what you’re going to eat (or not eat). My personal goal is to only eat the foods that I really love and leave the rest. Just having a plan seems to help.

4. Never go hungry - Drink plenty of water or fill up on fruits and veggies before the main meal to prevent overeating. The high-calorie foods will not be quite as tempting with a full stomach. I always take a bag of fresh greens to our family holiday celebration.  You wouldn’t believe how even the children want crisp mouth-watering romaine after consuming meal after meal of rich foods.

5. Slow down - Remember it takes about 30 minutes for your brain to tell your stomach that it is full. Take time to taste every bite and enjoy it. Put your fork down between bites and converse with those around you. Saver the tastes and smells and really enjoy your meal. When you are full, get up from the table and away from the left-overs. We can consume hundreds of extra calories by “picking” after we’re done eating.

May you enjoy your family and friends this season! 

Portion Size (cookie)For more information on portion size, please visit:




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