Learn how to resist holiday food temptation

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By Joan Martin

Weight-The Reality Series begins in December, just in time for the holiday season.
During this time of year, the temptation to overeat or select less healthy foods presents itself at every social gathering and frequently at your workplace. Just avoiding weight gain is a success at this time of year.
The information below comes from publications used in Weight-The Reality Series-Becoming Weight Wise. The seven session class will not only provide information on weight management but also support from the group, new recipes and cooking skills.
Feeling Good About Food (FCS3-357) explores how we can develop more healthful attitudes about food and activity.
We are in trouble weight wise in America because our activity level has gone down and our food consumption has gone up. We need about 500 calories less per day than we did 30 years ago, however, we actually eat about 300 more calories than we did 30 years ago.
Americans spend less time preparing and consuming food. In general Americans have fewer cooking skills and eat at home less often than their ancestors. Serving sizes are generous and inexpensive to increase. We eat larger, less frequent meals than Americans did in the past. Some of us eat only one meal a day. This is not a healthy pattern to fuel your body and reduce fat stores. Furthermore, food and eating are commonly used to fulfill needs unrelated to hunger, such as a reward for hard work or relief after a stressful day.
Bodies in Motion (FCS3-536) encourages us to add physical activity to our day to help burn more calories and improve health. Leisure time physical activity levels remain relatively unchanged in recent years. For many people, the largest energy expenditures are driving a car, office work, and watching television.
Activity breaks are good. Make it a goal to not sit still for longer than 30 minutes at a time. Try going for a 10 minute brisk walk, 3 times a day, 5 days a week. This will give you a total of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity.
Why We Eat What We Eat (FCS3-535) suggests that people on quick-fix diets and those who tend to skip meals to save calories are doing themselves a disservice. When you skip breakfast (or lunch or dinner) your cravings for food are likely to increase and your resistance to high-fat, sugary, or salty foods will be much lower than if you had eaten. The plan to save calories eventually backfires and you overeat later in the day, and eat less nutritious foods.
Manage your weight by increasing fruits and vegetables and decreasing grains to help you cut calories. Never use the word “diet.” This term implies that you will give up something completely or that at some point you won’t need to watch your weight. If wishing could only make it true!
Learn to think about moderation in eating. You can have a special treat every day but be choosy about what it is. Maybe it’s a fun size candy bar or the bite size candy. Maybe you learn to think of an orange or a banana as a treat.
I hear some of you laughing but you can get your mind re-programmed.
Remember that managing weight is an individualized process. You must find what works for you and take things slowly.
Register for Weight-The Reality Series-Becoming Weight Wise by calling the Anderson County Extension Office at 502-83907271 or email joan.martin@uky.edu.
The cost is $5 for the 7 week class. A minimum of 15 must register or the class will be cancelled. The Anderson County Health Department is a partner on this program. You can also contact April Thomas, Health Educator at 502-839-4551 or april.thomas@ky.gov
Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin. University of Kentucky, Kentucky State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Kentucky Counties, Cooperating. Disabilities accommodated with prior notification.

Joan Martin is a consumer and family sciences agent the Anderson County Extension office.