Temperatures are dropping, holidays are approaching, stress levels are rising and, for many, weight starts increasing. In fact, the average American gains approximately two to five pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
Is it really a problem if a person gains one to two pounds during the holidays? According to TriWest Healthcare Alliance Registered Dietician Jackie Magyar, it can be.
“Most weight put on during the holidays is not lost after the season,” Magyar said. “Year after year, those few pounds can add up, moving an otherwise healthy person into an overweight or obese state.”
Being overweight or obese increases the risk of many diseases and health conditions including:
• Hypertension (high blood pressure)
• Type 2 diabetes
• Heart disease
• Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
• Some cancers (endometrial, breast and colon)
To avoid adding extra, unwanted pounds:
1. Drink plenty of water. Drinking water throughout the day and between meals will keep a person feeling full and fully hydrated.
2. Decorate the plate, not just the house. Filling the majority of the dinner plate with colorful fruits and vegetables is a great way to keep calories down. Avoid heavy sauces and creams. Round out the meal with lean protein.
3. Good things come in small packages. Watch portion size when indulging in favorite dishes.
4. Go for quality, not quantity. Mindless snacking can blow the calorie budget. Save up for the big ticket items like dinner and dessert.
5. Try a food exchange. Exchange time at the gym for Aunt Erma’s famous sweet potato casserole. Make time for exercise on calorie-ridden days.
6. Pace your eating. Eat light earlier in the day and do not skip meals. Enjoy the food being served by having a small portion of everything.
7. Move it. Whether it’s speed walking, raking leaves, or taking a family walk, make it a goal to move every day. Movement burns energy, which means burning calories.
For more healthy eating tips, visit TriWest.com/HealthyLiving.