gym-and-holiday-eatingIt has begun, the holiday season is upon us as we are just getting into the mindset of working out regularly and staying fit in the many activities and group classes provided at the Sportscenter. Instead of yoga and barre classes calling our names, there are seasonal beers, desserts and holiday dishes that are pulling us away. Instead of doing laps in the indoor pool or exercise on the wide array of cardio equipment, we are doing Starbucks drive thru and shopping for presents.

There are many distractions during this holiday season that will draw our attention away from our local Sportscenter gym, health and fitness club, but when the holidays pass, we are full of new gifts from family and friends as well as an increase in our waistlines due to that extra serving of pie we had once or twice. Even as a Registered Dietitian, I still find great enjoyment in the consumption of holiday foods, especially my wife’s pumpkin pie, but exercising the knowledge of portion sizes and healthier cooking alternatives allow me to keep from having to reach to the back of my closet for the “larger sizes” that I have worked so hard all year to get away from. This holiday season is meant to be for socialization with family and friends, and food is a very big of that socialization. There are many recipes on the web these days that will reduce overall calorie and sodium content of our favorite holiday dishes. If we all take part in creating healthier options at the dinner table, we will all be able to reduce calorie intake, even with reaching for an extra portion. In regards to portion sizes, preparing foods and portioning them out prior to placing on the dinner table will decrease the likelihood of overloading our initial plates. There are many ways to thoroughly enjoy the holidays without experiencing an influx in weight. As we set to dive into Thanksgiving and the entire month of holiday eats prior to Christmas and New Years, let us all take a moment to think about where we want to be from a health and wellness standpoint come January. Please join me at a complimentary presentation about healthy eating through the holidays on Saturday December 3 rd at 12:00 P.M. at the Sportscenter. I will have a short presentation and then open the floor for questions.

Thank you and I hope you enjoy your family and the festivities of the holiday season from all of us at Sportscenter.

–Ryan Giffin, Registered and Licensed Dietitian at the Sportscenter