Slice away the calories this season

Published 3:11 pm Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Are you one of the many of us who over-ate during Thanksgiving?

Many people find they gain an extra four pounds during the holidays.

This may not seem like a lot, but over time if this weight is kept on, it can accumulate and be even more difficult to lose.

Cutting calories is something we can do and it doesn’t have to be difficult.

Here are a few suggestions to help you slice away some of the calories:

— Lighten up on beverage. Seasonal drinks such as eggnog, apple cider and punch are high in sugar and some even in fat. As much as possible, make these drinks at home using low-fat milk for eggnog.Apple cider can be lightened by using low-sugar apple juice and add cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and cloves.

— Watch out for sweet treats and desserts. Try using a low-calorie version of some of your favorite treats.

— Reduce your fat intake.Fats provide more calories than sugar and starches.It is a concentrated form of energy. Grill or bake instead of fry. Trim excess fat from meats.

— Pay attention to portion sizes. Portion sizes have gotten much bigger in recent years and cutting calories may mean learning what a standard portion size is, such as a 1/2 cup of mashed potato, one roll, a 1/2 cup stuffing and 3 to 4 ounces of cooked turkey are all a serving size.

— Share a meal with a friend or, when eating out, divide your order in half and take one portion home to eat later.

— Include more fruits and vegetables with your meal and eat them as snacks. It is a good idea to begin meals with a salad.

— Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day to curb your appetite and reduce cravings.

— Don’t forget the exercise.Maintaining regular physical activity is one of the most important things we can do for our health and it helps offset some of the extra calorie intake in during the holidays.

For more information on healthy holiday eating, contact the Clark County Extension Office at 744-4682.