It’s that time of year again - we eat, drink and make merry now and worry about the consequences later. According to a 2000 Study of Holiday Weight Gain*, Americans only gain about 1 lb each year from Halloween to New Year’s Day. Sound like no big deal? The problem is that 1 lb frequently results in “creeping obesity”-- 20 years of holiday weight gain never lost can result in a 20 lb weight gain and put you at risk for many health problems.
So how can you prevent weight gain this holiday season?
Here are some tips:
1) Regular physical activity
- If you’re already exercising, continue it! If you aren’t, it’s a great time to start! Work physical activity into your busy schedule by: parking further away, taking the stairs, walking to look at Christmas lights, shoveling snow or even building a snowman!
2) Plan ahead/Control the situation
- Going to a holiday party or out shopping? Here are some tips: Take healthy snack options with you or eat a healthy snack before you leave home, position yourself away from the food, limit your plate to 2 items at a time and fill up on veggies first. Do all of this and you’ll be less likely to splurge on all those holiday treats!
3) Eat a Healthy Diet
- Model it after My Pyramid: make half your grains whole, focus on fruits and vegetables, keep your meats lean & exercise portion control
- Increase water intake (especially before meals) and limit alcohol consumption
Here’s to a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season!
* Yanovski, J. A. et al. 2000. A Prospective Study of Holiday Weight Gain New England Journal of Medicine. Volume 342:861-867