“Tis the season for sugary treats.” High blood sugar levels and weight gain are often the price of overindulgence. Germans typically acquire a pound in December and January. Japanese and US Americans typically gain 0.75 pounds. If that doesn’t sound like much, think of gaining a pound every year for the next 30 years. Then add in birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and other “exceptional” causes for celebration and the pounds can add up. That extra weight is not so much a function of age as it is of too many calories and not enough physical activity.
So, how not to feel like a martyr when the rest of the party is indulging? One way is to be late for the party, or at least late coming to the table. That way you will have less time to sit looking at the food in the serving dishes. When we see the food, we start to enjoy it before eating, which makes it difficult to avoid continuing our enjoyment all the way to eating the fruitcake. When the other celebrants are having coffee or leaving the table, you will naturally want to join them.
Another way is to make low-calorie concoctions…
- Try a small bowl of apricots with sprigs of mint and a few cherries to make it festive. The color is a big part of food enjoyment, so make a compote of your favorite fruits. Be sure to include berries. A search of the internet will turn up enough recipes to inspire.
- If it simply is not a holiday without potato latkes or cake, then control portion sizes. Cut a small piece and walk away from the buffet or ask for a small piece at the dinner table and eat it slowly, alternating bites of solid food with coffee or tea.
- Instead of egg nog buy some seltzer water and flavor it with fruit juice. Add food coloring in keeping with the holidays.
Eating is not the only way to have fun with friends, so invite everyone to play Scrabble, Monopoly, cards, or charades. No, you don’t need a bowl of nuts within easy reach of the game!
And don’t forget to take a walk after dinner, to enjoy the seasonal beauties of nature. If you live in a snowy climate, get out the sleds and skis. Have a race with other celebrants. If you can afford the money and time, rent a cabin in the woods to see nature at its best – and take along only healthful foods.
With good self-management, you can keep your blood sugar levels and weight under control during the holidays.