SMART HEALTH: WORRY ABOUT HOLIDAY CALORIES TOMORROW

BROOKE KINNEY

bskinney10@ole.augie.edu

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The holiday feasting has begun.

You fill up with turkey and casseroles and all the kinds of pie one could imagine, and the only thought in your mind is how many miles you have to run later to burn off all those calories.

I’ll tell you the truth: 1,000 miles. Better get started.

Alright, you caught me. The real truth is that one meal, or two, isn’t going to wreck your waistline or your fitness.

You’ve worked hard this past fall to build up a good fitness base, and indulging throughout the holidays won’t push you off the wagon. It’s okay to have another slice of pie if you want. Top it with an extra dollop of grandma’s whip cream and savor it.

Don’t deprive yourself.

This preoccupation with calories results in misery over the dinner table. You can’t enjoy your dad’s famous hotdish if you’re dreading your run later.

If you’re still unable to put the calories out of your mind, make it your motivation to get up early and work out before the holiday party. That way, you can eat guilt free and feel good the rest of the day.

After your morning workout, make plain ol’ water your drink of choice. Eggnog or alcohol can pack empty calories that sneakily add up. Drinking a full glass of water can help you curb cravings.

At the party, try to snack on fresh veggies rather than chips and dip. Opt for the white, skinless meat of the turkey and go light with the gravy and choose the sweet potatoes rather than the mashed potatoes. Also, be careful of sauces and snacking on too many hors d’oeurves.

Another tip is to stick with smaller portions instead of piling your plate. Try a little bit of each dish, and that way you can tell your grandma her green bean casserole was delicious and still save room for Christmas cookies.

And only splurge on the really good stuff. Don’t bother with the Brussels sprouts if you don’t like them and be wary of your aunt’s mystery pudding.

Instead, splurge on what you’re really craving. And go back for seconds. Savor every bite without apology.

After the meal, ask your family to join you for a walk. Bundle up, walk around the block, throw some snowballs and enjoy the family bonding while you’re beginning to work off the meal. Plus, the fresh air will help you avoid the post-turkey nap.

After the holidays come the New Year’s resolutions. It’s the perfect time to join a gym, put up motivational posters or gift yourself a new yoga mat or dumbbell set.

Don’t be preoccupied with calories and with working them all off over the holidays. Be thankful you have the food in front of you and your family to share the table with. Your waistline and your heart will be happy.