25 Healthy Holiday Choices
Make it to the new year without gaining a pound
By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
Are you tired, cranky, and feeling stressed over everything you need to do this holiday season? Don't let the holidays undermine your weight loss success. After all, it's only a few weeks until New Year's Day is upon us.
So get on that scale each week, and make sure you don't follow the tradition of gaining a few pounds during each holiday season. Many folks gain a few pounds in December and keep them all year long. Our mantra at WebMD Weight Loss Clinic is "maintain, don't gain" during this festive time of year.
Get Your Z's
Of course, when you're faced with the inevitable array of holiday treats, maintaining is not as easy as it sounds. You need to make good decisions at parties and buffets, fit in physical activity, and get plenty of rest. Recent research has made us more aware than ever before of how important it is to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. According to two studies published in Annals of Internal Medicine, people who don't get enough sleep have increased levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and decreased levels of the hormone leptin, which signals fullness.
Sleep-deprived new parents, shift workers, college students, and others may gain weight as altered hormone levels influence them to overeat. So do your best to get to bed on time. Not only will it give you the extra energy you need this time of year, it will help keep those hunger hormones working properly.
10 Energizing Tips
Too much to do and too little time to get it done -- that's how many of us feel this time of year. To stay on track without reaching for fudge, eggnog, or cookies, you need a plan to keep your energy level high.
Try these 10 energizing tips to keep going strong:
15 Smarter Splurges
The WebMD Weight Loss Clinic is all about including your favorite foods, and holiday time is no different. We want you to enjoy and indulge, but we also want you to do it wisely so it does not result in weight gain.
The secret is to think sample and remember that the first bite is really the best bite. Enjoy every moment of that bite, and then move on to healthier alternatives. See the chart below for "better bites" that will fill you up without packing on the pounds:
You'll feel so much better the next day if you load your plate with healthy fruits, veggies, and simply prepared lean meats and seafood instead of calorie-laden mystery foods.
Watch your alcohol consumption too. Alcohol adds lots of extra calories, and it has a way of dissolving your resolve.
Don't let the saying "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail" describe your holiday season. Get your Z's, put a priority on physical activity, and choose splurges wisely, and you'll maintain your weight until the new year.
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