Returning Member Login
Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
November 19, 2010
Watching Your Waistline
It’s the time of year when goodies abound. It’s not only the season of Thanksgiving; it’s the season for overeating. Many people gain at least five pounds over the holidays and they do so by eating too much, not getting enough physical activity and not being vigilant about healthy eating. What can you do this season to enjoy the treats you love without over-stuffing yourself? Here are some tips for watching your weight over the holidays:
- First, make a plan. Just as you made a plan to stop smoking, you can make a plan to eat healthier. Refer to the Quit Plan in Module 6 of the Premium program. Instead of relating it to quitting smoking, relate it to healthy eating. For example: Have healthy snacks and lots of fruits and vegetables on hand for munching. If you know that you’ll be eating a higher calorie dinner, plan for those extra calories by eating lower-calorie meals for breakfast and lunch.
- If you’re cooking for Thanksgiving, offer lower calorie options along with the family favorites. Perhaps the stuffing is the favorite dish at your table. There’s no need to cut it out completely. You can choose to add dried cranberries and apples to your stuffing to make it higher in fiber. You can also offer some vegetables without high calorie sauces such as spinach, a nice tossed salad, broccoli and other green leafy veggies as side dishes. Be sure to review the Fat Facts handout in Module 6 of the Premium program for some ideas.
- If you’re bringing a dish for Thanksgiving, bring a low-cal snack such as a veggie tray as an appetizer. Loading up on celery sticks, carrots and slices of green pepper can help you feel fuller when you sit down to a big meal.
- Plan (there’s that P word again) to take a walk or rake leaves before your big Thanksgiving meal, and then take a walk after it as well. Others in the family may want to join you, but even if they don’t, commit to those walks, just as you committed to becoming smokefree. You’ll feel better for it.
- Wait a while after the meal to serve dessert. Allow your food to digest first, before eating a slice of pie. If you feel full, skip dessert or have a tiny portion. You can have it the next day when you’re feeling less full and can really enjoy it.
- Do you really need to put gravy on everything? Do you like it on the turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and even like to sop it up with your bread? Can you see how the calories would add up? Choose one thing to put gravy on and allow yourself a modest portion of it.
- If you’re having cranberries this year, make a cranberry salad that includes apples, orange slices and a few nuts. This is a healthier way to have this seasonal favorite.
There is so much to be thankful for in our lives, no matter what our circumstances. This year you have the added one more thing to be thankful for—your commitment to be smokefree, whether you have had your Quit Day before Thanksgiving or not. One of the many things that I’m thankful for is the new Message Boards! They are more intuitive and easier to navigate. All of us at the American Lung Association are especially thankful that you are finding the Freedom From Smoking program helpful in your journey to be smokefree. Happy Smokefree Thanksgiving, and healthy eating to you and yours!
I’ll see you on the Message Boards! :-) Mary Ella
Don’t forget: If you’re in the Premium program and want help fast on the Message Boards, put “HELP NOW” in the subject line of your post. If you’re looking to offer help, watch for those, “HELP NOW” posts and alert your other FFS Online buddies to offer some assistance as well.