Enjoy the holidays, but try to avoid the annual weight gain | VailDaily.com

Enjoy the holidays, but try to avoid the annual weight gain

Eliza Klearman
Vail CO, Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” It is estimated that most Americans gain seven pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

Weight gain is, in fact, a very serious side effect of over-indulgence during the holiday season. It often leads to depression, anxiety and low self-esteem, and can contribute to diabetes, heart disease, and increased pain. This is the reason that health clubs see the highest membership and attendance in January, as people realize they have to do something to take the weight off.

There is a way, however, to keep the holiday weight off. This year, be proactive and practice prevention! Make your New Year’s resolution today. Start eating healthy and losing weight now, if necessary, so that you have the ball rolling and feel motivated to stay on track through the holidays.

Please remember that obtaining and maintaining optimal weight is essential when it comes to disease prevention as well as the treatment of many diseases. I urge you to work towards your optimal weight all year, not only after holiday season. When it comes to weight loss, it is necessary to receive education and support. There is no magic pill or program that will make you thin and healthy and keep you there. Changing your diet and incorporating exercise and stress management are the only sure-fire methods to weight loss.

Unfortunately, weight loss is difficult. It takes effort and time, knowledge and will power, but with the right support, you can make it happen.

With this in mind, I typically prescribe to a diet that allows for occasional indiscretions. In fact, preventing weight gain during holiday season doesn’t mean depriving yourself of all of those delectable holiday treats, it just means being mindful, and using a few tricks to help you succeed.

– Eat well: When you are not at a holiday meal or party, make a special effort to eat healthy. Eat fresh vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains to fill your body with all the nutrients you need.

– Keep your home treat-free: With goodies everywhere else, there is no need to have them at home. Make your house a healthy haven. If you make cookies with your family, eat a few and send the rest to school with your kids or to a neighbor. This way you don’t have to resist temptation inside your own home.

– Indulge a little: There is no need to miss out on fine holiday foods, just be mindful of your portion sizes. Wait 20 minutes before allowing yourself a second serving. It takes the brain this long to realize that the stomach is full.

– Party tip No. 1: Drink water and eat a small, healthy snack before going to a party. This ensures that you eat something nutritious and helps prevent you from over-eating. Going to a holiday party hungry is a recipe for over-indulgence.

– Party tip No. 2: Take a cocktail sized plate instead of a dinner plate to sample party food. You can always go back for more, but don’t forget to wait between servings.

– Party tip No. 3: Try to find a spot to mingle away from the buffet. This will help you control the “munchies.” If you are far enough away and engrossed in conversation, you are less likely to interrupt your discussion and head for the food.

– Finally, my personal favorite: Try wearing pants or a skirt that fits snugly across your waist. There is nothing worse than feeling uncomfortably full in pants that suddenly are too tight. Tight clothes may just make you a bit more mindful of the amount of food you eat.

– Enjoy the Holidays: Remember that holidays are a time to celebrate with your loved ones. Do what you can and don’t beat yourself up if you over-indulge. Although we should always strive for better health, this is a time to celebrate.

Dr. Eliza Klearman is a Naturopathic Doctor and Acupuncturist practicing in Eagle. Call 328-5678 or email liza@drklearman.com with any questions or comments.

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