Once again the holiday season is upon us. As for the naughty or nice part, I believe many of you have been pretty good in following my advice this year and eating less red meat, less sugar and a lot more fruits and vegetables.
Don’t go and blow it at holiday parties and wind up 20 pounds heavier and firmly in the naughty column of Santa’s ledger.
If you think about it, the holidays are almost custom made for weight gain. Plenty of stress, lots of food–high calorie beverages like eggnog and hot buttered rum.
Fear not, the Good Doctor has some tips to help you navigate the holiday season without having to buy larger jeans to accommodate your post-holiday self.
- Get enough sleep.
Researchers have found that people tend to eat more on the day following a day where they did not get enough sleep. One long-term study found that people who slept 5 hours or less per night had a 15 percent greater chance of becoming obese than those who got 7 hours of sleep.
- Watch what you drink and how much you drink
Sweet frozen drinks and high calorie drinks can add to your waistline with their calories. All that heavy drinking can wreck your eating discipline too and make you forget your resolutions.
From no thanks, never, to thank you, don’t mind if I have another slice of pie, ma’am, all in the span of a few drinks. If you have to drink, keep it to a minimum and chose lower calorie, lower alcohol drinks like light beers and red wine.
- Before you arrive at that holiday party buffet, have a healthy snack.
Say a bowl of soup or a turkey sandwich on whole wheat. It makes sense. If you are not hungry when you first survey the goods, you will be less likely to overload your plate or go back for that second slice of pie.
- If you can’t follow No.3 …
Hit the relish tray and fill up on celery, carrot sticks and whole grain crackers–keep the dip to a minimum.
- Hit the water.
Instead of gulping down oceans of sugary cola or fruit juices, opt for water or soda water. A tall soda water with a squeeze of lime and a dash of bitters makes a refreshing non-alcoholic stand-in for a cocktail–and the calories are pretty close to zero.
Moderation in all things … including moderation. If all this waistline watching is stressing you out, take a break and enjoy yourself. We’re talking moderation here, not abandoning yourself to gluttony. Go ahead and have some of those Christmas cookies and egg nog and then walk it off tomorrow.
Enjoy the Holiday Season and get ready for your best year ever.