Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends….

Q:  Mr. Pedometer, ‘tis the season for over-eating.  Any advice on how we can keep from adding pounds during the holidays, with all the delicious, once-a-year treats tempting us?

A:  The simplest strategy is to follow the advice of Julia Child: Enjoy everything, but in moderation.

For more specific advice, here’s what last month’s AARP Bulletin suggested for “Navigating the Holiday Buffet”:

RED:  COME TO A COMPLETE STOP

  • Pigs in a blanket: High in fat, salt, and carbs.
  • Fried cheese balls: High fat and small (easy to overeat).
  • Baked brie: Fatty and addictive, plus you have to slather it onto some carb calories.
  • Chips: They don’t have any nutritional value.

YELLOW:  PROCEED WITH CAUTION

  • Cheese & crackers: They are calorically dense and too easy to eat.  Plus, they’re not special.  Spend your holiday calories on something more festive.
  • Once-a-year-favorites: You only eat stuffing, latkes, and eggnog once or twice a year.  If you’ve been coveting your cousin’s pecan pie or your neighbor’s roast goose, enjoy in moderation.
  • Dessert: If there is an array to choose from, pick out your ONE favorite and allow yourself a reasonably sized portion.

GREEN:  GO RIGHT AHEAD

  • Crispy, crunchy crudite’s: Your first stop should be the brightly colored vegetable arrangement.  Add hummus to slow digestion.
  • Pork tenderloin, ham, or turkey: Protein will suppress your appetite because it is slow-digesting and triggers the release of several hormones that make you feel full.
  • Shrimp cocktail: Low in fat, high in protein, and a perfect first course for a low-calorie tour of the buffet.
  • Swedish meatballs: Another protein-packed option that stands out amid a carbohydrate-heavy table.
  • Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus: A great choice to fuel your body while keeping your appetite in check.

According to the article (by Kimberly Rae Miller), “the average American gains more than a pound each holiday season…and half of that weight will still be around come summertime” (based on a study in the New England Journal of Medicine). She wryly notes, “Over a decade, that’s one pant size of holiday cookies added to your belly.”

Especially between Halloween and, say, Groundhogs Day, Mr. Pedometer advises…

EAT RIGHT, MOVE MORE, BE WELL.