MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- With Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, and even the Super Bowl fast approaching, most of us expect to gain a little weight this winter. (I mean, isn't that why they invented sweater weather?) But, according to K-State associate professor and specialist in human nutrition Tandra Kidd, even a few pounds can affect your health.
“People need to be reminded that the choices they make during the holiday season could stick with them well after the season is over,” Kidd said.
Kidd warns that even minimal weight gain can damage your health, especially if you don't lose it after the holidays.
Make time to be physically active on Thanksgiving Day and the days surrounding the holiday to help relieve stress.
On Thanksgiving, traditional food items that might contain more fat, sugar and sodium than the acceptable amounts per person include turkey with the skin on, store-bought cranberry sauce, gravy, biscuits, sweet rolls, cornbread, fried foods, creamy salad dressings, eggnog and, of course, those favorite desserts and pies. Serving turkey without the skin and making many of the sides from scratch using low-fat, low-calorie and low-sodium ingredients can help make those Thanksgiving favorites much healthier.
Enjoy a small meal or snack that might include fruits, vegetables, a whole-grain sandwich or low-fat yogurt, to keep you from feeling overly hungry at mealtime. Enjoy your favorite high-calorie foods in smaller portions.
The cookies, candies, cakes and other treats in addition to the turkey or other poultry with the skin on, ham, mashed potatoes and any fried foods can make the Christmas calories add up. Meal preparers at Christmas can make simple adjustments to make foods healthier for their guests. Again, poultry without the skin, ham without a glaze, baking rather than frying and preparing the meal from scratch can help lower caloric intake.
Choose your favorite foods, and skip your least favorite ones. Try to fill your plate with fruits and vegetables.
Involve family members and guests in fun activities that burn calories, such as walking, biking or tossing a Frisbee. If weather is an issue, stay inside and have a dance contest. Adults can show the youth their favorite dance moves and vice versa.
Reduce temptations by not standing near food tables.
Watch the liquid calories by spacing out alcoholic drinks with water, club soda or other unsweetened beverages in between.
Be physically active, perhaps by dancing at New Years or doing simple stretches during the Super Bowl commercial breaks.