Halloween is just a few days off, followed by the food Olympics -- Thanksgiving. From then on, it's nonstop party season straight through Super Bowl weekend. What's your typical weight gain during the holidays? Here's a quiz to see if you know how to avoid those extra pounds.
Those who are less active than usual during the holidays gained as much as 10 pounds. True or false?
Fewer than 10 percent of adults gain more than five pounds over the holiday season. Overweight and obese people are less likely to be in the high-weight-gain group. True or false?
It's only a pound or two gained, which is easily taken off after the holiday season. True or false?
The attitude, "I've blown it and may as well enjoy myself now," usually leads people to really overdo it and eat more. True or false?
It's silly to have a diet soda with a high-calorie dessert. True or false?
Alcohol will dull your appetite so having a drink or glass of wine will help you eat less. True or false?
Eat light the day of a party to save calories for the main event. True or false?
It helps to keep your hands full of anything but food. Take pictures or hold a glass of club soda. True or false?
- Most people gain one extra pound during the holiday season. True or false?
Answers: 1) True; 2) True; 3) False; 4) False; 5) True; 6) False; 7) False; 8) False. If you starve yourself before a party you will be more likely to overeat. 9) True.
-- Weight Watchers
The trick with treats
It's a tricky matter, feeding kids. We want them to have fun and we want them to be healthy. Overindulge them on high-calorie, high-sugar foods and they'll gain weight. Overly deprive them and as soon as they're off our radar screen, they'll overeat. So what do we do with Halloween? Take the middle ground, suggests registered dietitian and one of my favorite common-sense, family-feeding authors, Ellyn Satter. Here are some of her suggestions:
Make Halloween candy a part of meals or snacks. To make this work, remember that snacks are not "treats" or "rewards." They are little meals, explains Satter, presented to a child reliably and matter-of-factly. And here's the clincher: Have your child sit at the table to eat snacks ... not in his room in front of the computer or television.
Concentrate on structure. Sure, an apple with peanut butter is a much healthier snack than a Snickers bar and a glass of milk. But if we maintain the structure of meals and snacks with all foods, says Satter, a child will learn how to regulate his intake.
Treat Halloween treats as "controlled substances" not "forbidden fruit." Have a strategy to manage those "wonderfully appealing, appallingly high-calorie foods," explains Satter. Strictly forbidding any type of fun food can backfire and cause a child to overeat these foods.
So how do we keep Junior from bouncing off the wall from all that sugar? "There is no reliable evidence that eating sugar causes children to have behavior problems," says Satter. "However, hungry children have behavior problems. Eating sweets instead of something more substantial can soon leave a child empty -- and cranky. Again, to keep your child from having that post-sugar emptiness and crankiness, reserve the sweets for meal and snack times and offer other foods at the same time. The other food will stay with her longer and keep her comfortable until the next feeding time."
If your child can follow these rules, allow her to control her "stash," Satter suggests. Otherwise, you control it. If you are doing a good job of providing regular meals and snacks, a few days of eating candy will not impair your child's nutritional health, she assures us. If you aren't providing regular meals and snacks to your child, all the candy restrictions in the world won't make any difference.
- Use Halloween candy to help your child learn reasonable eating habits. "When he comes home from trick-or-treating, let him lay out his booty, gloat over it, sort it, and eat as much of it as he wants," she suggests in her book, "Your Child's Weight, Helping Without Harming." Let him do this for a day or two. Then have him put his stash away and reserve it for appropriate times.
-- Monterey County Herald
Want washboard abs?
Turn on the windshield wipers. Of course, you'll need to run the engine (via cardio) and fuel it efficiently (good nutrition) to make them work. Here's how:
Lie on a mat with your arms extended out and palms facing down.
With your legs in the air directly over your hips, position a stability ball between your ankles. With your abs tight, squeeze the ball.
With your right shoulder pressed to the floor, rotate your legs to the left as close to the floor as possible. Then, engage your abs to raise the ball back to the starting position and repeat to the other side. Try 12 repetitions to each side.
-- Miami Herald