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Archive for November, 2010

It’s that time of year again for holiday office luncheons, parties, and family gatherings filled with festivities and food everywhere.  From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, the holiday season is filled with treats that tempt even the most disciplined of individuals.  But is holiday weight gain inevitable?  Not if you follow some simple steps to help you keep off those extra holiday pounds.  Here are some tips to help you survive the season without sacrificing the fun and festivities:

  1.  Never skip a meal before a party or celebration.  This will prevent you from losing control and overeating at the party.  Skipping meals creates a famine-feast cycle.  Try to avoid standing near the food, eat from a plate, and drink a large glass of water before you eat.
  2. Focus on quality instead of quantity.  Sample one or two foods that you really like.  Keep your portions small and enjoy these special foods.
  3. Plan physical activity as a holiday celebration.  Many holiday celebrations involve the outdoors – ice skating, skiing, and sledding.  Take a walk around your neighborhood and enjoy the lighting displays and decorations.
  4. Practice healthy cooking techniques. Modify recipes by reducing the amount of sugar or fat in baked products.
  5. Give the gift of health.  Rather than making candies and cookies, why not give a gift of homemade wheat bread, or a basket of fresh fruit and nuts?
  6. Watch what drinks you consume.  Limit alcoholic drinks to one or two servings, and avoid high-fat eggnog.
  7. Get enough sleep every night.  Lack of sleep can affect your metabolism by influencing your hunger and weight gain.
  8. Concentrate on socializing.  This will take your mind off of food and focus your attention on interacting with others.
  9. Prioritize your schedule.  Plan weekly family activities and celebrations.  Don’t forget to plan time for yourself.
  10. Just say “no” politely.  If you don’t feel you can eat another bite, politely say so!

Remember, this is the season to celebrate with family and friends.  Planning ahead is an important strategy to help you maintain weight or prevent weight gain over the holidays.  Celebrate, but don’t overdo it!

Author:  Jennifer Even, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences & the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, Ohio State University Extension.

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We owe it to ourselves to plan healthy meals so that we feel better and are more productive in our work environment.  Do you ever get that sluggish feeling midway through the morning?  Think about what you had for breakfast.  Was it nutritious?  Did you even have breakfast?  What about mid-afternoon?  What did your lunch consist of?

The advantages of incorporating healthy meal choices and physical activity during work include:

  • better and longer attention spans
  •  more energy
  •  a more positive attitude

Healthy employees:

  • keep health care costs down
  • are more productive and take fewer sick days
  • feel better and live longer

The healthy eating program is about making healthy choices available as an option. Don’t you owe it to yourself to commit to choosing healthy meals?

If you are in charge of purchasing food as part of the work day or for a special event, promote healthy choice purchasing by working with local caterers to make healthy food choices. 
  • Offer water and 100% juice instead of soda
  • Ask for whole grain breads
  • Provide whole fruits and cut up raw vegetables
  • Provide healthy portion sizes

Do you have any physical activity during your day?  Do you get a chance to get up and move around?  How could you incorporate some physical activity into your day?

Think about where you work.  Are there places where people can get up and move around, take the stairs or walk outside?  Consider letting employees have some extra time for walking or have exercise equipment or videos available for employees to use. If  a meeting is longer than 1 hour, plan time for a 10 minute stretch break or incorporate physical activity.

Create and maintain a healthy workforce by promoting healthy behaviors.

Author:  Linnete Mizer Goard, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.

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Welcome

A group of Extension professionals are embarking on a new venture of providing research based information in health and wellness.  Some of the topics to expect are:

Exercise

Weight Management

Planning Healthy Meals

Cooking for One or Two

Stress Management

Think about Your Drink

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