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Guide to Holiday Eating

by Dr. Denise Chranowski

Between Thanksgiving and the New Year, the average American will gain between 5 and 10 pounds. DON’T BE AVERAGE.

Never go to a holiday party hungry. Right before you leave for the party have a small snack, such as a handful of walnuts, a cheese stick, 1/2 cup of cottage cheese or a protein shake. As you are driving to the party your brain will get the message that it just ate and you won’t be hungry by the time you arrive. It’s for this same reason you should eat slowly so you get the message that you are filling up.

If you are going to a holiday party at a restaurant for a sit-down meal, order soup to start off with, preferably a clear broth soup.

Here’s a trick I read in a fitness magazine. Fill up with fiber. 15 minutes before eating, have a rounded tablespoon of Metamucil in 8 ounces of water. This non-soluble fiber mixes with food and slows the speed of digestion giving you a feeling a fullness.

Finger foods can be dangerous. A few cheese balls, pepperoni slices and some crab dip can quickly add up to hundreds of calories and many grams of saturated fat. So stick to veggies, fruit, shrimp and lean meat. Maybe you should wear mittens to the party.

Go easy on the booze. You probably already know that eggnog is a no-no. It’s high in saturated fat and calories. But even a few light beers can spell disaster. Don’t drink before you eat because it stimulates your appetite. Remember, a 5-ounce glass of wine has about 125 calories, a beer between 100-150 calories and hard liquor, 75 – 80 calories per ounce. Have a glass or two of water/club soda between each alcoholic beverage.

Hit the Iron. You already know how important exercise is, but this time of year making time to exercise should be at the top, not the bottom. When schedules are crazy and you’re stressed out and everything’s irregular, this is exactly the time you want to go to the gym or our office.

Have a buddy. Most likely you aren’t going to the holiday party or event solo. So enlist your loved one or friend to support one other in making healthy eating and drinking choices for the night. And hold one another accountable.

As I like to tell our patients, you are only one meal away from being perfect. Don’t use the excuse, "well I ate poorly at this meal," and then blow it for the rest of the day. Your body has the amazing ability to self regulate itself. So within one hour of eating poorly, your body can restore your blood sugar levels to normal. If you follow with a good quality meal, combining a lean protein, a healthy fat, and a low-glycemic index carb, such as broccoli, you’ll be right back on track.

215/752-1420 WWW.WSCENTERS.COM

 Dr. Denise Chranowski, along with her twin brother, Dr. Dane Donohue, and Dr. Jerry Agasar, are the owners of Wellness Solution Centers. Located in New-town, this Wellness Center has all the tools and resources to dramatically improve your health, including chiropractic, massage therapy, acupuncture, personal training, and nutritional counseling. www.wscenters.com

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