Surprising News About Holiday Eating
The average person gains about five pounds over the holidays, according to health coaches with Atlanta-based health management company Alere. With obesity rates at near-record levels, and new research highlighting the connection between obesity and several serious diseases, you may be looking for recommendations that will help you better manage your weight until New Year’s Day.
Alere’s health coaches are registered dietitians, behavioral specialists or fitness experts. Their main message: Don’t diet!
Instead, the coaches say, follow these tips over the holidays:
- Don’t use holidays such as Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa and other seasonal celebrations as reasons to binge. “People tend to get into trouble when they think of a holiday as an excuse to over-indulge,” says Jackie Smoke, an Alere health coach and nutritionist. “There are always holidays; don’t let that be an excuse to over-eat.”
- Remember that successful long-term weight loss doesn’t come from diets; it comes from changing behaviors and lifestyles.
- Enjoy small indulgences. Restrictive diets lead to failure. Alere health coaches note that their most successful participants are those that indulge occasionally – and in small amounts – in their favorite holiday foods.
- Eat nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day of a holiday celebration. Don’t try to “save” your calories so you can stuff yourself at a party. Also remember to watch alcohol intake; if you do drink, avoid high-calorie mixers.
- Check out low-calorie, good-tasting holiday dining options, and bring one to a party. Countless cookbooks and food shows have tasty, festive, healthy choices.
- Get rid of leftover food quickly. If you are hosting a holiday celebration, give it to guests or take it to the office. Successful Alere participants have found that keeping temptation out of the house can help with weight management. This is particularly important with “trigger” foods that lead to over-eating. In short, notes Smoke, “If you find pecan pie irresistible, make sure it’s not around.”
- Don’t starve the next day. Starving the day after a holiday event is not a solution. If you do fall off the proverbial wagon, simply return to healthy eating the next day, and don’t forget to keep up your physical activity level.
Hope Health, Inc.