Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (AW) LaTunya Howard, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs Office
MILLINGTON, Tenn. – Healthy holiday eating is possible said a Navy nutrition expert, Nov. 21.
“The holiday season is quickly upon us and now is a great time to map out your strategy,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Wallinger, nutrition officer, Navy Physical Readiness Program. “We all have traditions, but planning ahead for what we know is coming can do a lot for our nutrition, not to mention our waist line, blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure.”
The holiday season is a time for celebration which traditionally includes enjoying good food with family and friends, Wallinger acknowledges. “The problem comes in when the eating frenzy stretches from now into the New Year, where most annual weight is gained. Although this weight gain tends to be small, most people do not take it off and it continues to accumulate through the years. The holidays may not be the best time for weight loss, but it is a good time to practice damage control.”
Wallinger offers tips for enjoying the holidays without over-indulging. Enjoy your meals and favorite foods, just try to eat less, make half your plate fruit and vegetables, and consider lightening some traditional recipes if you are cooking at home. Be selective and eat only the treats you really enjoy. Keep in mind a large portion of extra calories may come from beverages.
“The Navy’s Nutrition Resource Guide is an excellent tool to review prior to beginning the festivities,” said Wallinger. “The guide was developed to increase awareness of available Navy programs and resources to assist in improving performance and body composition, an essential component of physical fitness.”
The nutrition guide is part of the Navy’s Physical Readiness Program Operating Guide, the official supplement to OPNAVINST 6110.1J. The operating guide provides members with nutrition and fitness information that promotes a healthier lifestyle. It also provides the command fitness leader (CFL) with the tools to effectively manage his or her command physical readiness program.
The operating guide includes a trilogy of resources; The Nutrition Resource Guide, the “How To” Guide, and the Command/Unit Physical Training and Fitness Enhancement Program.
“Increasing your awareness when tempting treats are bountiful can help decrease over-indulgences and actually make the holidays more enjoyable,” said Wallinger. “If excessive calories, sugar and salt are not what you are asking for this holiday season, consider creative solutions, be realistic and, above all, have fun.”
To learn more about the Navy's Physical Readiness Program, nutrition and fitness, visit the Navy Personnel Website at www.npc.navy.mil or visit www.health.gov/DietaryGuidelines.