Hello Readers ,

For years during the holidays I used the excuse that it was okay to eat this or that knowing it wasn’t very good for me, because it was the holiday season. In my mind ‘the holidays’ was a free pass to eat whatever I wanted.

Year after year I gained that seven pound holiday weight you hear about.  And yet I carried on with the same habits for years without changes.  Two years ago I got a wake up call when I joined the TMC Wellness program and Laurie and Mary brought me a new awareness about my eating habits. Today I am much more selective with healthy alternatives and portion control even at holidays.  Before I eat anything I stop (use mindful eating ) and ask myself two questions .

1) Do I really want to eat this?

2) Is it worth the calories ?

For me, I will figure out much exercise  I have to do to burn off those particular calories  and then make the decision whether I will eat it or not.

I have some examples for you to think about  the next time you have the urge to grab any of these or take extra portions.

These are approximate calories and will be different with portion sizes, your exact weight  and speed of exercising .  These are based on an individual who weighs 160 pounds.

1) Slice of pumpkin pie (One eighth of pie)  325 calories per slice

I would have to ride my exercycle for 45 minutes

2) Slice of pecan pie (one eighth of pie)  525 calories per slice

This one is very deceiving because some think it’s a healthy dessert because of the pecan nuts, but pecan pie is heavy on the butter, sugar, corn, eggs and pecans which are loaded with fats and calories. I would have to jog for 1 hour to use the energy consumed in one small slice of pecan pie.

3) Stuffing 1/2 cup 150 calories

Often the main ingredients in stuffing is white bread and melted butter .   You would have to do 15 minutes  of jumping jacks non stop.

4) Gingerbread cookie  170 calories

You would have to dance vigorously for 30 minutes .

5) Glazed ham – 3 oz 125 calories

You would have to go hiking for 15 minutes .

If you eat choices that aren’t the best please remember portion control and limit your selections. When you use awareness you can have control with your choices. Instead of eating a full slice of pie take one or two spoonfuls to satisfy your craving. Enjoy the holidays with your loved ones and not worry about having to lose those unwanted pounds you gained throughout the holidays so you can be thankful for your improved health.

Mary H Kmak

Health Warrior

Mary Kmak has turned her life around, losing over one hundred and thirty-one pounds, and found a path to health through the Tucson Medical Center Wellness program. In Mary’s Promise she shares tips, recipes, challenges that she has learned along the way. Today, she shares her thoughts on making healthy choices through the holidays. 

Want to make the kind of changes that Mary has and see similar results? Make an appointment to see one of TMC’s Registered Dietitians for a one on one and gain a whole world of scientifically based, tried and true techniques to improve your health and fits your individual lifestyle.