According to the Calorie Control Council, we eat about 4500 calories on Thanksgiving, 1500 calories nibbling on appetizers, snacks and drinks before we sit down at the table for a 3000 calorie meal. So, making a few simple adjustments can go a long way. Start by shifting your focus from weight loss to weight maintenance and use some of the following tips:

            Opt for shrimp – boiled or steamed
            Eat raw vegetables with a dab of dip on every other piece
            Have whole grain crackers and half the cheese
            Avoid chips and other processed snack foods

            Aim for no more than 2 alcoholic drinks – have seltzer in
            between and after you've reach the 2 drink limit.
            For eggnog, cider etc., half fill the glass.
           Avoid soda and other sugary drinks (lemonade, sweetened
           ice tea) opt for sparking water,  seltzer or tonic (without the

Main course
            Imagine your plate divided into 4 quarters
                     Put vegetables on 2 of the quarters         
                     Opt for more of the plainer ones rather than the 
            Use your teaspoon to take gravy rather than pouring it
                    from the gravy boat  
             Go easy on the stuffing – better to eat more turkey – but
                    skip the skin!
             Opt for the whole baked sweet potato, rather than the
                      sweet potato pie
              Use your teaspoon to “measure” out one dollop of butter
                        or sour cream for the baked potato.
              Take half your usual amount of mashed potatoes and add
                       gravy with your teaspoon          

              Eat the homemade stuff, skip the store bought stuff you
                       can buy anytime.
              Split one portion with another guest.  

Other tips

Take smaller portions - use a smaller plate, if available.
Eat slowly - Enjoy each bite, put your fork down occasionally.
Take a break before going for seconds - Give your brain time  
          to get the message that  you have had enough.
          Remember, it takes about 15 minutes for your brain to
           catch up with your stomach.
Don’t skip breakfast -  Avoid starving all day. You’ll over eat,
           for sure!
Survey the food before filling your plate - Choose your
           favorite foods and skip your least.
Don't drink your calories. Alcohol packs a lot of calories and
          can cause you to over eat. Non-  alcoholic beverages can be
          full of sugar.

People who sleep less, eat more. 
Are you one of them?

Joanna Hayden, PhD, CHES

The results of an analysis of 11 studies comparing sleep deprived people with those who were not, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition last week, showed that the sleep deprived group ate significantly more fat, less protein, took in an average of 385 calories more a day, but were not more active.

 Summary: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_161847.html

Original article abstract: http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ejcn2016201a.html

Use this News

Previous studies have shown that lack of sleep affects the hormones responsible for regulating appetite. The less we sleep, the hungrier we are, the more we eat. This study offers insight into how much more – 385 calories on average, which is about the amount in a ½ cup of shelled peanuts, or two caramel Grande lattes, or 1 ½ slices of pizza. Eat this much extra a day and in nine days you’ll gain a pound. Do this for a year, you’ll gain 40 pounds!

If you’ve gained weight and don’t know why – it maybe that you’re not sleeping enough. Try sleeping more - this may be the only time you’ll have ‘everything to lose and nothing to gain!’

In 2015, The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) revised its sleep time recommendations to the following:

Newborns (0-3 months)                         14-17 hours each day

Infants (4-11 months)                               12-15 hours

Toddlers (1-2 years)                                  11-14 hours

Preschoolers (3-5)                                     10-13 hours

School age children (6-13)                       9-11 hours

Teenagers (14-17)                                        8-10 hours

Younger adults (18-25)                                7-9 hours

Adults (26-64)                                               7-9 hours

Older adults (65+)                                        7-8 hours    

The NSF suggests the following ways to develop better sleep hygiene (those things you do to prepare for sleep) -

Create a Zen bedroom

    Minimizing or eliminate noise, if possible. If not, then aim for     consistent noise white noise) rather than intermittent noise,         like that from a TV.

Keep the temperature cool, between 60-67.

Avoid bright light 30-60 minutes before bed.

    Dim or turnoff bright overhead lights and lamps and                         switch off electronic devices (computers, cell phones, etc.)

Develop a bedtime routine

     Read in bed, take a warm shower or bath before bed.
     Go to bed at the same time every night

Avoid stimulants 4-6 hours before bedtime

     Stay away from tea, coffee, chocolate, alcohol, and nicotine.         All of them can keep you awake.

Choose calming exercise in the evening, rather than intense         exercise.

     If you exercise in the evening, try yoga, Tai Chi, or Qigong.         They help  relieve stress and bring about calm.

Go to bed 15 minutes earlier than you usually do.

     If you sleep less than what is recommended, increase your          sleep time gradually.  When you are used to 15 minutes earlier,       then add another 15 minutes, until you reach your sleep goal.

For more information:

Centers for Disease Control –
        Insufficient sleep is a public health problem

National Sleep Foundation

            Sleep and obesity

             Sleep hygiene

             Sleep debt   

             Sleep tips

Want to avoid pneumonia? Get your teeth cleaned!
Joanna Hayden, PhD, CHES

The results of a study of 26,000 people to be presented this week at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America found that people who never got their teeth cleaned were 86% more likely to get bacterial pneumonia than people who had cleanings twice a year.

For a summary see: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_161726.html 

 Use this News

Our mouths are chock full of bacteria. When their levels increase, they can cause problems not only in the mouth, like cavities and gum disease, but also infections of the inner lining of the heart (endocarditis), coronary artery disease (clogged heart arteries) and stroke, and even premature birth and low birth weight. (Mayo Clinic, 2016) As a result of the study above, bacterial pneumonia can now be added to the list.

The millions of bacteria in our mouths, along with food particles, saliva and other substances adhere to our teeth and form plaque. You know this stuff, it’s that white, soft, sticky goo  that collects between your teeth and at the gum line.

Even if we brush twice a day and floss like we’re supposed to, plaque still forms and it's the bacteria in plaque that we breathe into our lungs which causes pneumonia.  (Paju & Scannapieco, 2007).  Regular dental cleaning removes plaque which lowers the level of bacteria in our mouth and, according to the results of this study, lowers the risk of bacterial pneumonia.

So, brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day and have your teeth cleaned twice a year or more frequently depending on the recommendation of your dentist or dental hygienist.  

Here’s what to expect when you get your teeth cleaned:

-          A physical examination of your mouth checking your  
            teeth and gums for any signs of gingivitis (inflamed gums)
            or other abnormalities

-          Scaling (scraping) of your teeth to remove plaque and
            tartar (hardened plaque) from the gum line and between the

-           Polishing with a gritty paste to remove any remaining

-          Flossing to remove any leftover plaque and toothpaste
            from polishing.

-          Rinsing with mouthwash or fluoride rinse to remove
            debris from the cleaning.

-          A fluoride treatment to help protect your teeth from

If you have dental insurance, most plans pay 100% for preventative care, such as cleanings.

For more information:

American Academy of Periodontology –
                    Healthy Gums May Lead to Healthy Lungs:

American Dental Association - http://www.ada.org/en/

American Dental Hygienist Association: https://www.adha.org/

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/          
                     Oral health - http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/

National Institute on Aging –
                     Taking care of your teeth and mouth -

Centers for Disease Control –

              Pneumonia - https://www.cdc.gov/pneumonia/