Saturday, November 6, 2010

Beating The "Holiday 5"

Yes the holidays are upon us. In just a few short weeks, turkey with stuffing, apple pie, pumpkin pie, candied yams and more will be available to us, along with many alcoholic libations. Tasty and enjoyable stuff for sure. I look forward to my first taste of pumpkin pie in almost a year.

However, when left unchecked, the holiday celebrations lead to the dreaded "Holiday 5", or in some cases the "Holiday 10". We are talking about the extra pounds put on because of the excess calories, and the poor quality of foods that we have available to us more commonly.

Over the last 2 years, I've worked hard on limiting the holiday poundage with some quality wins. Here's what I do now and recommend.

1. Understand that plenty of opportunities to splurge will occur. Accept that fact and be prepared for it.

2. Before going to a situation where you know you'll have sweet foods, alcohol, or high quantities of calories, have a snack. Yes, eat a snack. But, make it a healthy snack. Some pumpkin seed and a piece of fruit for example. Eat this about 30 minutes before the party so you don't arrive famished and ready to consume the first pretty looking food that appears (and most food looks much prettier when we're starving). Have your snack and 8oz of water.

3. Indulge in your favorite recipe. Don't completely ignore the pie or candy you love so much. You'll not enjoy yourself. But, limit the quantity. Eat it slowly and enjoy it. Plan ahead to only have "x" amount.

4. Don't fill your plate. This is a good rule all the time, but especially at holiday time. There's so much to choose from as you go down the line at Thanksgiving or Christmas. So put food on your plate, eat it and enjoy it, and then see how you feel. Again, take your time so you stomach starts to feel full.

5. If you know you want to taste everything, just take smaller quantities as you go through the line. Often we fill our plates with large servings and feel bad that we don't have room for something else we like, so we go back and get round two of the rest of everything.

6. Keep up with your exercise. Plan it out weekly so that you're getting the calorie burn you need. It's more vital than ever to do this now, especially since you know things will come up to get in the way of your exercise plan.

7. Finally, EVERY chance you get to eat healthy, DO IT! The next opportunity to indulge in sweets is just around the corner for you, so behave every second that you can!

Mainly, it's important to be prepared and to think about what you're doing. I want you to enjoy the holidays and the tasty foods, but not to the point of regretting it on January 2nd. I enjoy the challenge though. I weigh myself on Thanksgiving morning and monitor it all throughout the holidays, then have a final check on January 2. Last year it was only 1.5 pounds heavier, and I did enjoy my holiday. I hope you can find a way to enjoy and not regret it as well. Have a great holiday season!

Until next time...BE WELL!!
Dr. Bruce

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