By Matt Guyette
Tis the Season for Healthy Holiday Eating The holiday season can seem like on giant smorgasbord. And, for anyone not interested in bulging waistlines, this holiday obstacle course of high-fat foods, alcohol, and calories can seem insurmountable. Here are tips from weight management experts that can help make your holiday season a healthy one.
Don’t try to diet during the holidays. Set a goal of trying to maintain your present weight. That way, you have a realistic goal. You allow yourself to indulge here and there, but you don’t go over the edge.
Pace, don’t race. Pay attention to how quickly you eat and exactly what you eat and drink. Savor the flavor by eating slowly and choosing your food carefully
Remember that alcohol is packed with calories, choose light beer and wine over mixed drinks. A holiday-sized mixed drink can have as many as 500 calories or more.
Offer to bring a favorite low-calorie dish to holiday parties, so you know there will be at least one “safe” item available. Stand far away from buffets so you’re not tempted to nibble constantly.
Make the effort to continue a regular exercise program. Exercise will help keep extra calories away, but it also can reduce the stress of social events and family get-togethers.
Don’t go to a party or event on an empty stomach. Before going out, snack on protein, like chicken or cottage cheese. Protein satisfies and helps you eat less. Some people have the idea that if they skip lunch, or don’t eat all day, they can eat more later, but skipping meals means you’re hungry, and your chances of overeating later are much higher.
Keep an eye on your portion sizes. In the heat of celebration, portion sizes can be excessive. Instead of eating a large amount of food, try to eat a large variety of foods.
Don’t let a hectic holiday schedule force you to eat fast food. Prepare and freeze several quick, healthy meals. That way, you have an option other than high-fat, fast-food meals.
When the party is at your house, put low-calorie and fat-free salad dressings on the menu. Pack the table with flavorful vegetable dishes, and make reduced-fat versions of your family’s favorite traditional dishes.
Make decisions about what you’re going to eat. Weight management is all about moderation and making healthy decisions.
Cheshire County assistance programs.
Financial assistance from your town
The various towns and cities in Cheshire County New Hampshire offer assistance to those who qualify. Individuals and families may get help with paying rent, utilities, heating expenses, free food and certain prescription medications. In addition, the towns are a great place to stop by to get referrals to local charities and non-profits, and to gain access to various government assistance programs. All towns are required to provide these resources to residents per New Hampshire state laws. Keene New Hampshire (603) 357-9809. Roxbury and Surry also offer aid. Phone (603) 352-3075
Cheshire Community Action Agency – Southwestern Community Services, Inc.
Electric Bill Assistance Program – This option provides qualifying PSNH customers with a discount on their monthly electric and utility bills.
Fuel Assistance Program – This is a resource that provides financial assistance for paying heating bills and utility expenses to handicapped, elderly, and low-income residents.
Rent help and eviction prevention – This particular assistance program offers eviction prevention services, including landlord/tenant mediation, budget counseling, one-time financial supports, and referrals to other resources and non-profits.
Neighbor Helping Neighbor Program – This is an energy assistance program that provides funds and emergency help for paying utility bills as well as energy assistance (electric or natural gas) to needy families and individuals who are experiencing some type of financial hardships, if the family has a disconnection pending, and if the family is ineligible for help from the Fuel Assistance Program.
Food Pantry – Can help people provide food for their family.