December 26, 2008

Important to budget calories all year

The U.S. economic downturn has people budgeting their money, but health experts say equal care should be taken in budgeting calories.

Dr. Linda Michalsky, assistant professor of clinical nutrition at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, says it important to keep in shape and watch calories during the holidays and the rest of the year as well.

To help keep waistlines in check, Michalsky recommends:

-- Gather friends and relatives for a talk-as-you-walk after a holiday meal -- or any meal at any time of the year.

-- Limit intake to half or less of normal portions except for a favorite dish.

-- Wait 15 to 20 minutes before going back for seconds or dessert, and limit both. Cut a piece of pie or cake in half and someone will grab the other half immediately.

-- Use smaller plates. If you only have large plates, leave some room so that part of the plate is visible.

-- Drink water between other beverages.