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Around the Home: Get back on track after overeating on the holiday
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Recently, one afternoon I decided to cut the front lawn.

As I was walking around the yard checking for sticks or other debris, it took me back to when I was a child. I remember helping my father and brother do the same when they were getting ready to do yard work.

Did you know that outdoor task can relate to goal setting, too? How, you ask?

Well, when you embark on a goal — whether it’s related to health, finances, your job or your family — you have to watch out and prepare for potential roadblocks or obstacles.

Memorial Day is less than a week away and it traditionally kicks off the barbecue/picnic season. Plus, family reunions are on the way, too.

So, if you need a strategy to maintain your fitness and nutrition goals, consider these tips from UGA Extension:

* The day after you’ve gorged on food, sit back, relax and acknowledge that you’re human. You can’t expect to be successful with your weight goals if you are your own worst enemy. Fortunately one afternoon or night of overindulging is unlikely to cause a noticeable weight gain. It takes 3,500 extra calories to add a pound of fat. You would need to consume a lot of extra calories to make a noticeable difference.

* Don’t be tempted to eat a small breakfast or skip breakfast. Not only does eating breakfast jump-start your metabolism, it also makes you less likely to overeat later.

* Cut back on calories at other meals and snacks by loading up on fruits and veggies.

* Instead of snacking as soon as you get hungry, try drinking at least eight ounces of water, then wait 10 minutes. Sometimes when our body thinks we are hungry, we’re actually thirsty. If you still feel hungry, eat a healthy snack such as a handful of nuts or a cheese stick.

* Prepare lower-calorie, pre-portioned snacks at home before you leave the house and put them in sandwich baggies. People who eat healthy snacks between meals are less likely to overeat later.

* Stick to your regular routine if you’re already physically active. Some people may overexercise to compensate for a day’s worth of bad eating, but this can lead to exhaustion and muscle soreness, making you less likely to exercise.

* If you don’t exercise regularly, start with a small goal such as walking 10 minutes around your neighborhood. Exercising within a day or two of overeating will help you refocus on your fitness goals.

* Instead of weighing yourself to assess the damage the next day, do not step on the scale. Instead, weigh yourself during the middle of the next week when your weight will most likely be close to normal again.

* Try posting encouraging messages where you will see them regularly like in your car, on the bathroom mirror or at your desk. Examples include: “I’ll eat two more servings of vegetables today” or “I’ll walk a mile today.” A visual reminder will make you more likely to follow through with your goals.

Sandra Stringer is a nutrition educator with the UGA Extension office in Hall County. Call her at 770-535-8290. Her column appears biweekly on Wednesdays and on