Don’t Let Those Holiday Trimmings Lead to New Year’s Blues
With all of the goodies around the holidays, it's important to keep a healthy perspective to cut down on regrets come new year.
In the face of endless cakes, pies, cookies and other holiday delights; staying healthy over the holidays can be very challenging. But tis the season to make healthy choices for ourselves and our children. During the holiday season we tend to gain anywhere from five to ten pounds. It takes about 3,600 calories to gain a pound. A holiday meal can have more than 2000 calories. So you can see how easy it is to pack on the pounds.
Holiday weight gain can be a factor in the obesity epidemic. According to the Center for Disease Control, 27 percent of adults in Maryland are overweight. 15 percent of children in the US between 6-19 years of age are overweight. This equates to 9 million children. These are alarming statistics that should raise concern among all Americans.
Some simple tips that you can use to help maintain a healthy weight during this festive season include:
Never skip meals
Eat three meals a day and a healthy snack in between meals. Your body needs a certain amount of calories (fuel) in order to obtain energy to carry out its daily functions. If we do not consume the right amount of calories, the body will reserve its energy in storage, resulting in weight gain.
Consume food that stabilize your blood sugar
Fill up on complex carbohydrate such as oatmeal, whole wheat breads, pasta, brown rice, and sweet potatoes. This type of food tends to stabilize your blood sugar resulting in more sustained energized periods and reduced hunger cravings for sweets.
Add protein to every meal. Eggs or beans in salad. Cheese, Peanut or Hazel nut butter on whole wheat crackers makes for a great snack. Foods filled with proteins tend to fill you up and make you more satisfied.
Slow down and enjoy your food
During holiday parties, grab the smaller plate
This reinforces the concept of portion and serving size control. Allow yourself to have dessert in small portions. You will less likely binge if you do not try to completely deprive yourself.
Limit alcohol consumption
Incorporate a daily exercise program which includes aerobic and light weight training. Exercise daily for 20-30 minutes. This can include a brisk walk or cycling. Join an aerobics class such as step or kickboxing at your local community center. These activities can be fun as well as affordable. Weight training with 5-10 pound dumbbells is recommended. Weight training allows one to build muscle which ultimately increases your metabolism so you effectively burn fat. Get the entire family involved. Ice skating is a festive activity and it burns lots of calories.
So let's not wait until Jan. 1 to get healthy. Now is the time! Remember, during this season of giving, the greatest gift that you can give to yourself is the gift of good health.