Submitted by Don Doman
It is estimated that the average person puts on 10 pounds during the holiday season. We eat more often and we eat much richer foods during the holidays, so it is easy to put on pounds without realizing it. Most people think that they don’t have to worry about gaining weight on the 4th of July, because it’s only one day. But so are Thanksgiving and the other big bird stuffing days. This year with the 4th being on Tuesday, we have Saturday, Sunday, and possibly Monday to get through before we ever arrive at the day of celebration.
Most of us could benefit by dieting. Different people have different reasons in going on a diet. Some people need to do it to improve their health conditions, while others simply want to fit into their small sized clothing. Whatever your reasons are, you should always remind yourself of them, so that you become more motivated in going through your diet.
A Ball Park – All Beef Hot Dog (With Bun, Ketchup, & Mustard) has 260 calories. 459 calories is the count for a 1/4 pound burger with a bun. Who eats just one of these backyard delicacies? Add in potato salad, deviled eggs, green bean casserole, ambrosia whip cream fruit salad, various pies, ice cream with toppings and you have a mountain of calories to overcome. That’s just part of the problem.
Let’s say you’re going to Aunt Amy’s house for the gathering of family and friends. You’ve already sampled your own items to share. You know she always serves late, so you stop in at Arby’s for a Smokehouse Pork Belly sandwich on the way to fortify yourself with 860 calories (550 from fat alone). If you add fries and a coke, you’ve already had more than some people in the world eat in a day . . . or several days. So, what should you have done?
First of all, you need a good night’s sleep and a decent breakfast. When you eat your breakfast, it is best if you include eggs in it. This is because eggs are filled with quality protein called albumin. Aside from that, it can also provide you with energy giving nutrients. Thus, it can help you attain higher metabolism, and could make you more energetic throughout the day.
You’re going to bring a dish or two to share of course. Forget the canned Bush’s baked beans to which you always add maple syrup, brown sugar, Grey Poupon Dijon, and half a pound of cooked bacon from Metro Market.
I recommend sliced cucumbers and apples soaking in rice vinegar with a touch of sea salt and ground pepper. Make plenty, so you can snack on them yourself. Food/salad dressings that contain vinegar actually help you in burning more fats. This is because they contain acetic acid, which can speed up your body’s ability of processing calories and fats.
You might also create a little fresh fruit salad. Chunks of cantaloupe, melon, and pineapple are fairly cheap currently. Throw them in a large bowl. With a little more rice vinegar and a couple tablespoons of frozen orange juice you can make a healthy dressing. Top off your mixture with a small container of blackberries for color and tartness and you are ready to go.
Eating fruits and vegetables is one of the best things to do to lose weight since they are filled with vitamins and minerals, as well as enzymes. However, it is best if you consume them in their raw form. This is because processing or cooking them would kill the essential nutrients and enzymes. After snacking on your own preparations you can still stop in at Arby’s and even order the Smokehouse Pork Belly sandwich by itself. Eat the two or three strips of pork belly and throw the rest away. The pork belly has all the flavor anyway.
At the party go ahead an have a lite beer or two, or a glass of red wine, but nurse them. Don’t bother with drinking lots of water unless the weather is really, really hot. Water can bloat you and make you feel uncomfortable. The object of a celebration is to enjoy yourself. Snack on your own items, enjoy a hot dog or two and a hamburger, but forget the buns and you might be able to have a piece of pie and still feel like you earned it. Consider that you’re really just combining lunch and dinner.
If you have two or three parties like this from the first through the fourth, you should be able to walk away without much gain . . . if at all. Whenever I’m confronted by a buffet meal, I always ask myself, “Do I really like this food?” Often the answer is, “No.” If the answer is no for you, then your decision to eat sparingly should be easily swallowed. Enjoying the food and the company should be your goal. Enjoying your food does not necessarily mean that you eat it as fast as you can. It means that you should savor it. Try to appreciate its looks, smell, taste, and texture. When you do that, you will have a more pleasant experience in eating. I have no solutions for annoying cousins and friends.
On the fifth of July you might even start thinking about a weight loss plan. If you need a little help, we have local author Dana Luchini who supervises diet plans. She says, “Our Healthy-Aging Diet™ HCG Weight Loss Program is safe, effective and it offers consistent weight loss. Patients will also experience a reduction of risk factors for chronic health conditions.” You can also visit the website www.live2agewell.com, which has approximately one hundred articles on food and nutrition. Each article is vetted by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. With excellent local produce and fresh seafood almost at our doorsteps, the prospect of eating well and enjoying it more, while celebrating a holiday and a wonderful summer in Western Washington is a great possibility.