Table setting

Make Sure Your Waistline Survives the Festivities

What better way to survive the holidays with your health intact than by following the doctor’s orders? There likely isn’t any. Dr. Sandra Daly, of internal medicine at The University of Alabama’s College of Community Health Sciences, has a few orders for keeping a healthy relationship with the holiday table.

(Put your hands up and ) STEP away from the table
When you start to feel full, get up and involve yourself in something besides eating. Stick a piece of sugarless gum in your mouth, and be done! Go play with the kids, or wash the dishes.

Walk it off
Have some extra time off? Schedule a walk in the park with a friend, go for a stroll in the mall ---without your wallet!, treat your pet to a long brisk walk. Still have energy? Try adding periods of speed-walking or jogging to your usual pace.

Don't put off 'til tomorrow what you can do today
Planning to make a New Year's diet resolution again? Why not start now? It will be easier to prevent putting on extra pounds than to shed the ones you loaded on during the holidays. Don't fool yourself by thinking, “I may as well enjoy myself now, I can always start my diet later." It won't work!

Water yourself
Choose foods and drinks with high water content: fresh veggies and fruits, clear soups, and watery beverages such as seltzer water, mineral water, bottled water, and ice water! Add water to your glass of holiday punch, and DON'T TOUCH THE EGGNOG!!

Join the club
Surround yourself with other health-conscious people who won't keep sticking donuts and chicken tenders in your face. Let others know of your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

Enjoy the benefits of feeling great
Good health is not so much about how much you weigh or how many calories you burn or consume, it is about feeling well both now and later. What you gain is worth so much more than what you give up.

Daly can be reached at 205/348-1204, or sdaly@cchs.ua.edu