Healthy Living

Brian Duewel is a guest columnist | Contact Brian

Healthy Living: It's possible to avoid holiday weight gain

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Holiday weight gain is a way of life for millions of Americans. Because December brings holiday parties and family gatherings, it offers cookies, pie and candy at every turn. A cookie at the office, candy on the way home, dessert after dinner: It all adds up once the month is over.

There are a few things you can do to help ward off the excess pounds. First, keep to your daily workout routine. If you don’t have a regular exercise program, it’s a great time to start.

By staying active, you’ll burn off extra calories you consume during the month. Just 30 minutes of moderate activity is all you need to keep your calorie burn up and your weight gain down. If you’re not accustomed to exercise, your metabolism should jump and you might even lose some weight.

Next, nibble on healthy snacks throughout the day. Don’t just wait until you’re hungry – every couple hours grab a handful of nuts, a cheese stick or an apple.

There are hundreds of options to choose from, but the key is to keep up the food intake. I know that might sound counterproductive, but with a constant consumption of low-fat, high-protein fuel, your metabolism will rise, you’ll have more energy and you’ll burn additional calories.

There’s a second benefit to constantly eating: When you’re next to that plate of cookies, you’ll already feel full and be less likely to grab for the sweets.

Politely ask your host, whether it’s your mother, brother or friend, to withhold the treats from the party. It might sound a little forward on your part, and you might get backlash or rejection, but explain your concerns and you might get your wish. Besides, you’ll be doing everyone a favor by keeping calories away from their bellies.

Finally, use moderation. If you do want a cookie, that’s fine. But just eat one. Don’t eat three one day, two the next and four the day after. That’s how the weight gain happens.

With a combination of exercise, thoughtful planning and moderation, you can power through the holidays without worry.

FOR THIS WEEK’S easy fit mini recipe, bring an Apple Brown Betty to the holiday party.

Slice two large Granny Smith apples and toss them with lemon juice. Take five slices of whole wheat bread and crumble them into pieces. Coat a cooking dish with nonstick spray and layer a third of the apple slices across the bottom of the tray.

Next, sprinkle a mixture of ½ cup
of brown sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Top with a third of the bread crumbs. Repeat the process two more times until the dish is nearly full.

Pour three quarts of unsweetened apple juice over the top and bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees. Slice and enjoy – each piece has less than 200 calories.

If you have questions, comments or recipes you’d like to pass on,
e-mail brian@brianduewel.com.


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