How NOT to Gain Weight During the Holiday Season

Keep Weight Off During HolidaysIt is possible to maintain a steady weight during the holidays!  It is difficult but I know many people who indulge in some of the delicious holiday food and enjoy the holiday season but they are also able to brag in the New Year that they did not gain weight!

Take note of some basic things you can do to keep your waistline trim this holiday season!

Use only one plate at holiday gatherings!

It is so easy to go crazy at holiday gatherings but make sure to review the menu or the items first and take a small sample of everything you want but stick to the one plate rule.  This will allow you to enjoy the foods you want but at smaller quantities so you do not overeat.  Dessert calories add up very quickly so include that in your one plate rule as well!

Slow DOWN and taste your food!

Many of us get so excited about all the great foods that are on our plate but many of us just scarf the food down without enjoying it!  Slow down and taste your food.   Your taste buds are in your mouth, not your stomach!

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Hydration is important all times of the year but especially important when we are tempted to overeat. Many times when you feel hungry you are actually just thirsty so keep a water bottle with you at all times and when you feel hungry drink 8 oz of water. If you are still feeling hungry choose snacks with high water content such as celery, watermelon or oranges.  You will know if you are hydrating properly by examining the color of your urine.  Clear to pale yellow is good.  Dark yellow means you need to drink more water.

Move that body!

During the holidays it can be hard to get your normal work out in but just because you can’t go to the gym does not mean you can’t exercise.  Grab a co-worker and go for a walk at lunch. Do some sit ups and push ups while watching TV and encourage your family to join you making a fun game of it to see who can do the most. Break up your normal workout into 2 workouts – go for a 15 minute walk at lunch and then another after work with your dog. A bike ride around the neighborhood or a few minutes on that stationary bike in basement is also a good way to burn some calories.

Manage blood sugar

Eat plenty of protein (lean meats like fish and lean chicken are good options) but also include a good amount of fiber (in fruits and veggies) to your diet to maintain proper blood sugar balance.  People tend to overeat when they starve themselves and then say they can eat what they want.  By maintaining consistent meals and snacks you are less likely to overindulge in the holiday goodies!

In summary, it is all about planning and making good choices!  If you decide what you will do before the gathering then you are more likely to stick to that plan.  Get a “party buddy” and hold each other accountable for your food choices.

I know at the time of temptation it can be hard to follow these rules but you will be so proud and thankful you did when the New Year comes and you don’t have to make that resolution to lose weight!  Your athletic goals in 2013 will be easier to accomplish if you don’t have excess weight to lose!

Check out even more holiday weight loss tips from the Emory Bariatric Center!

About Dr. John Xerogeanes

John Xerogeanes MD

John W. Xerogeanes MD, is Chief of Sports Medicine at the Emory Orthopaedic & Spine Center. Known as Dr. “X” by his staff and patients, he is an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Emory University as well as an Adjunct Professor at Georgia State and Mercer University. Dr. Xerogeanes is entering his 11th year as Head Orthopaedist and Team Physician for Georgia Tech, Emory University, Agnes Scott College and the Atlanta Dream of the WNBA. Dr X specializes in the care of the knee and shoulder for both male and female athletes of every age. He is Board Certified in Orthopaedic Surgery and has his Sub Specialty Certification in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine.

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