By Katie Hosket

Food around the holidays not only adds to celebration, but also around the waist of its consumers

Since the holidays are approaching, I decided to send out a public service announcement within a column. Rather than discussing the lovely songs of Christmas, or the traditional Hanukkah dreidel games, we’re talking holiday smells here people.
Food around the holidays can be dangerous. I know, it’s tradition and everyone can’t have a wonderful holiday experience without diving into delicious meals consisting of carbs and sweet treats.
Holiday foods get the best of us all. Their inviting smells, happy decorations and enticing comfort lure our hungry minds into thinking, “Okay, just another nibble won’t hurt…”.  Don’t get me wrong, I am all for sitting by the fire drinking a big cup of hot chocolate; it’s what this season’s all about. All I’m saying, is we must be careful.
The first holiday during the joyous season consists entirely of eating. Even for those who participate in the Thanksgiving Day runs, don’t be fooled into thinking you can eat whatever you want. .The average American consumes 3,000 calories and 229 grams of fat in one Thanksgiving meal, according to the American Council on Exercise. The average American burns just 384 for a 5K run. You do the math.
The United States Department of Agriculture recently came up with a new approach for healthy eating. Instead of the food pyramid that most of our generation grew up with, MyPlate has come into existence. This new healthy-eating-helper has three main points: Balancing calories, foods to increase and food to reduce—as well as the traditional five categories the former pyramid also had.
It may seem childish to reference this color-organized diagram understandable to a fifth grader. However, it’s actually kind of interesting and surprisingly helpful. The categories are size-orientated, exhibiting portion sizes for each meal. If you want a way to avoid putting on the extra pounds, I highly suggest making this your first step to stay slim.
This really doesn’t have to be that big of an issue this winter. Just stay aware of your intake of festive treats and when you go to reach for one of Santa’s cookies, think twice.Either you put that cookie back and save yourself from a long struggle ahead, or call up the gym right then and there. Holiday foods get the best of us—the only thing we can do is bring in a little self control.