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Staying healthy during the holidays

According to a recent study by Cornell University, Americans, on average, will gain 1.3 pounds this holiday season as a result of over eating and lack of exercise. The answer to enjoying holiday treats without sacrificing fitness is making a plan and sticking to it, says Geoffrey Borro, 436th Aerospace Medicine Squadron health promotion dietician.  
 (U.S. Air Force illustration by Mauricio Campino and Airman 1st Class Dedan Dials)

According to a recent study by Cornell University, Americans, on average, will gain 1.3 pounds this holiday season as a result of over eating and lack of exercise. The answer to enjoying holiday treats without sacrificing fitness is making a plan and sticking to it, says Geoffrey Borro, 436th Aerospace Medicine Squadron health promotion dietician. (U.S. Air Force illustration by Mauricio Campino and Airman 1st Class Dedan Dials)

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- It’s that time of the year again. Squadron potlucks, family dinners, and eating out while shopping or traveling. According to a recent study by Cornell University, some Americans will consume 4500 calories and 250 grams of fat during holiday celebration dinners leading to an average weight gain of 1.3 pounds by the New Year with some gaining much more. But just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean you have to throw dietary discipline out the window.

According to Women’s Health Magazine, one of the easiest ways to keep off the pounds is to drink plenty of water throughout your day, especially before a meal. Water touts a whopping zero calories, helps jumpstart your metabolism, and aids in digestion. More than that, staying hydrated keeps you feeling full and helps prevent over eating during meal. If you’re at a social function, keeping a drink of water in your hand throughout the night helps minimize snacking and replaces fluids lost with alcohol consumption.

“For a physically active individual, the daily fluid intake should be bodyweight divided by two, in ounces,” said Geoffrey Borro, 436th Aerospace Medicine Squadron health promotion dietician. “Estimate a loss of six to eight ounces of fluid through urine for each alcoholic drink and adjust accordingly.”

Borro suggests the key in finding a healthy balance starts with making a plan and sticking to it. Don’t skip meals in preparation for a big dinner. Plan in advance what types of food and drinks you will or will not eat.

“Have meals that support your fitness goals 80% of the time, allow different foods and drinks and larger portions the other 20% of the time,” said Borro.

According to Men’s Health Magazine, diet plays a huge role in weight maintenance with a close second being physical activity. If your holiday schedule gets busy with travel, shopping or more meals and social events, choose a high intensity workout that last a shorter period of time.

“A high-carbohydrate holiday meal, properly timed, can fuel intense workouts, speed up recovery and support muscle gain,” said Borro. “Take advantage of it.”