On the Lighter Side
Merry Ways to Manage Your Weight
One Bite May be Too Much, a Thousand Never Enough During the Holidays
By Linda Trainor, RN, BSN
It’s the holiday season, that jolly time of year for bells to jingle.
But before we start chanting Fa-la-la-la-la, let’s prepare for the bells that will be ringing when we step on the scales in 2015, after we attend all the entertaining festivities.
Holiday parties and family gatherings are full of foods that are traditionally shared during the holidays. Many well-intentioned hosts and hostesses know that great food is essential for a happy holiday get-together, and go to great lengths to serve up homemade treats along with the Yuletide carols. Our palates may be pleased by the egg nog, appetizers, cookies, puddings and traditional holiday dinner fixings, but many of these “good eats” contain calories beyond the bright stars of yonder, including the spiced nuts, dips, spreads and festive finger foods.
Thus it's no secret that most Americans reclaim at least one to10 pounds between Halloween and New Year’s. Statistics show that you are not alone consuming extra calories at this time of year. However, there are still ways to enjoy the holiday food traditions that are unique and creative without becoming disenchanted with yourself in January 2015.
Let’s think about this season and the known statistics in a different manor. If you are 34 years of age, then you have celebrated for 34 years. This could very easily yield a weight gain of 34 pounds. Since four sticks of butter equals one pound, just visualize 76 extra sticks of butter packed on your body over this time.
"Oh, my golly!" you may exclaim. "And I thought the holidays were supposed to be jolly! I need to melt that butter!”
So ask yourself, what could be a substitute for the happiness of feasting on luscious food during the holiday? Be honest with your answer — perhaps there is nothing at the moment, because of an attachment to fond memories of gatherings past. That is perfectly understandable. But try and consider that you CAN recall those wonder-filled joyful feelings without indulging in large amounts of food.
Seven Ways to Sparkle this Season
1. Plan ahead
Drink water before you go to a party, to avoid filling up on calorie-packed homemade punches.
2. Advance alert
Let the host or hostess know beforehand that you are following a specific food plan, especially if they are the type to "force feed” you.
3. Check the menu
Ask what is being served, so that you will be aware of the choices that fit your food plan.
4. Be selective
Concentrate on three food items at a gathering that you would like to taste, as opposed to sampling everything in sight.
5. Stay poised
Find your confidence and be true to yourself in an anxiety-producing environment. Breathe.
6. Start a new tradition
Re-invent your holiday experience with something other than food. Be creative!
7. Think positively
Make this holiday season a time to remember by finding a little good in everyone, even those who may be on your naughty list.
And don't forget to just BELIEVE. Yes, Virginia, yes, Vince, there are ways to survive the Annual Holidays of Feasting. Perhaps it is simply a vision of prancing around in a new outfit in 2015 while experiencing vibrant health — instead of visions of sugar plums dancing in your head.
Above content provided for your entertainment by the Weight Loss Surgery Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.