With Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve right around the corner, keeping track of your weight can seem like an afterthought.
“Most people end up gaining three to five pounds during the holiday season," said Jaclyn Meyer, MS, a registered and certified Dietitian-Nutritionist and a Diabetes Educator at HealthAlliance Hospital’s Diabetes Education Center in Kingston, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth). "Add that to the five to 10 extra you’re trying to shed, and the numbers add up quickly.” Luckily, there’s no need to hole up for the holidays. Here are Meyer’s five tips to stave off those extra pounds.
1. Enjoy your freedom of choice.
“Don’t label any food off-limits; as soon as you do, you want it even more,” said Meyer. “I tell patients that yes, there will be cookies at the office, gift baskets of food and treats popping up everywhere. When you decide to indulge, make sure it’s something you really like. If it’s stale grocery-store cookies or doughnuts, I would pass. If it’s the delicious cannoli my neighbor made, I would indulge. If you feel it’s worth the calories, enjoy it, move on and don’t feel guilty.” At holiday parties with lavish spreads, take in all the offerings — then fill a small plate with the foods you love most. When you’re full but still want to socialize, hold and sip a low-calorie drink. “This helps occupy your hands, so you’re not mindlessly eating the whole time.”
2. Find support.
“Make a pact with a friend or family member to work hard to stay on target,” said Meyer, “or make an appointment with that dietician you’ve been wanting to see. Either way, have someone in your corner to explore strategies that work for you, especially if you overindulge and need to get back on track. Sharing your efforts with loved ones may also discourage them from giving edible gifts.”
For more tips on how to stay fit this holiday season, continue reading via Advancing Care in the Hudson Valley.