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Avoiding holiday calories

Are you avoiding holiday calories? Do you know how to avoid holiday calories? Are you a person that likes to taste different foods? Did you know that tasting small samples all through the day during the holidays can add calories to areas you do not want to have added calories? So, how can we avoid holiday calories this year?

Tip #1: If you are baking cookies and there are crumbs left from a broken cookie, put the crumbs in a Ziploc bag for your grandchildren or great grandchildren. Try not to eat them because crumbs can add extra calories that you do not want.

Tip #2: A co-worker brought some homemade candy to work today to share with everyone. If you are going to eat a piece of candy, remember that you will have to move away from eating other sweets that day. That small piece of candy can be up to 80 calories because of the sugar, milk and other ingredients inside of it.

Tip #3: Go grocery shopping before lunch. Well, during the holidays we know that there are lots of food samples. Try to avoid eating the food samples because you have not had lunch and eating all those delicious food samples and then going home and eating lunch can pack at least 40 calories on without even thinking.

Tip #4: During the holidays, most fast-food places are selling flavored coffee at half price or $1 for a large cup. Well, I am not going to pass that up! Okay, but think about the calories in that coffee. Do you really need those extra 20 calories when you have already had a cup of coffee?

Tip #5: Hey, remember the office holiday dinner party tonight! Let me pass by the break room to see if there are still some goodies hanging around. I can snack on that until the dinner party tonight. I do not think that snacking on a small piece of chocolate can hurt me. Remember, there will be chocolate at the office holiday dinner party tonight. Do you want to eat this piece of chocolate and then have chocolate tonight also? Chocolate is good for you but eating too much can add an extra 40 to 60 calories.

Tip #6: Do not stand near the sweets table. This causes you to pick up a few things that you should avoid like chips and dip. We know that we cannot eat just one chip, especially if it is Lay’s!

Tip #7: Wow! There is the eggnog. I love good old fashion homemade eggnog. Hey, remember all the calories in eggnog! If I have just a half cup, that should not hurt me. Well, think about the milk, sugar, eggs and other ingredients that go into the eggnog. You could pick up almost 200 calories and you have not even had a Coke yet.

These tips are not to scare or stop you from eating the things that you love during the holidays, but just remember that the more we taste before or after lunch or dinner can cause an increase in our weight. We do like to taste more this time of year because we have a tendency to cook more around the holidays. Just remember, instead of tasting, wait until lunch or dinner to eat and then get what you wanted to taste.

Enjoy the holidays and try not to gain too much weight by tasting everything. Remember after we eat all this food during the holidays, we still need to exercise (walk, jog, bike, dance, etc.) to remove the extra calories eaten. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Cynthia Clifton is the general nutrition agent for the St. John the Baptist Parish extension office of the LSU Ag Center. She can be reached at cclifton@agcenter.lsu.edu.