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Holiday Eating Tips For College

            Yep, you guessed it! The weather is getting colder; the dorm rooms are getting warmer… It’s that time of year when every television station starts playing the sing-song type of holiday music that gets you in the mood to shop, decorate, and eat lots of food. With Thanksgiving only two weeks away, everyone is talking about family dinners and feasting on tons of delicious sweets and treats…not to mention the infamous “night before” when all the college kids come home to go out and party with friends.
            During this time of indulgence (as fun as it may be), it is easy to forget about our bodies and the impact that overeating has on us. There is no question that America has an eating problem. Let’s face it, the Surgeon General has turned it into a growing epidemic, and obesity is responsible for approximately 300,000 deaths per year! Usually, the rapid weight gain has to do with changes in the environment and surroundings (such as living on a college campus) as opposed to biological changes or genetics. During the winter months, body weight is directly affected by changes in food intake, mood, and activity levels. In order to prevent weight gain, one must remember: calories in vs. calories out. If you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight and vice versa. Caloric expenditure must remain in balance to maintain a healthy body weight. Knowing that most Americans eat more than 2000-3000 calories during one Thanksgiving meal, this provokes a challenge.
            To ensure that you are enjoying yourself during the holiday season but still want to watch what you eat, keep these tips in mind:

  • Eat breakfast to keep from overeating later in the day
  • Avoid eggnog and drink 1% milk instead
  • Watch your portions in high caloric foods
  • Eat lots of fresh vegetables (with limited butter)
  • Choose gravy over creamier sauce
  • Take your time and enjoy your food
  • Eat to 70-80% fullness
  • Keep alcohol intake to a minimum or 1-2 servings (empty calories!)
It is most important to listen to your body. Its job is to tell you when it is hungry and when you’re satisfied. So make sure it’s the turkey that’s being stuffed, and not you!! Don’t forget to stay active!!

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