Tuesday, November 26, 2013

GOBBLE GOBBLE---Avoid weight gain: Surviving the Holidays

The skinny on Holiday weight gain: depending on who you read, the average consensus weight gain for people during the holiday season and who are already over-weight/inactive is 7 pounds. For the person who is already fit the weight gain is only 1-2 pounds.

So here are some tips for you to help avoid weight gain this year. Well if you have been following me for a bit you know where this is going, right?

1. The main culprit for most of the weight you with gain during the holidays is ALL THE SUGAR (includes alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, coke). Avoid the sugar at all cost. Well, if you can't avoid the sugar and you love your pumpkin pie or cakes and pastries then eat only half portions. But in any case, drink tons of water before and after. This helps to decrease sugar cravings, especially since the more sugar you eat the more sugar you will want. The other trick I have learned that helps with my sugar cravings is Black Coffee (Tea), even just two or three sips will stop the craving. Try it it works.

2. Skip the bread and stuffing, and if you can't then eat half of what you'd normally eat. Every little bit DOES add up. Skip the turkey sandwiches (eat the turkey if you're hungry) later in the day while you're watching the Ravens-Steelers game.

3. If you're going to have carbs stick with the veges, sweet potatoes have half the calories of white potatoes. You can eat the mashed potatoes because that's better than eating the bread. Other traditional things served that are good for you would be brussel sprouts, green beans and asparagus.

4. If you're invited out to someones house bring a couple of side dishes that you know are healthy.

5. Have more protein and less sides. If you're a Vegetarian BYOF.

6. Have you ever heard this: "Don't spoil your appetite"! Thanks mom :) Whose mom did't say that... Well DO SPOIL your appetite. Most meals are served at odd times so depending on the situation, bottom line--don't go anywhere hungry. You WILL overeat. Eat something before you get there, an apple or protein shake, Greek yogurt, four slices of lean lunch meat or a 1/2 cup of oatmeal will decrease hunger for a while (all less than 150 cal).

7. Sit down and eat, don't stand around picking at stuff, contrary to popular belief those calories count.

8. Don't put on your favorite sweats or relaxed pants before to sit down for food. As you eat and your stomach distends, this provides the feedback mechanism to stop eating. Don't loosen the belt buckle for that matter either.

9. Studies show that having at least 12 ounces of water or vegetable soup right before a Buffet type meal will cause a 14% less calorie consumption. Have water with lemon, not just a lemon peel, squeeze fresh lemon into your water. Lemon actually improves digestion by increasing liver function. Less bloating and indigestion. Daily practice of drinking water with lemon juice (not concentrate) will improve you digestion and decrease bloating.

10.  Chew, chew, chew your food, there are many digestive enzymes in your saliva that breakdown food to help digestion. Got news for you, your stomach has no eat. You will avoid over eating, eat slower and will eat less and then you don't have to take Zantac or tums later.

11.Watch the size of your bites, don't stuff you're face.

12. Talking. Don't just sit there and gobble your food. Have a conversation! For food to be recognized by the brain the signals have to be transmitted from the stomach, blood stream etc to the brain. That can take 20 mins. So enjoy your company, share something other than just food. But don't talk and chew at the same time.

13. No one needs appetizers, enough said.

14. Skip dessert and go back for some turkey left overs later. Protein is Thermogenic (helps burn calories, because it's hard to digest) sugar does the opposite (puts on fat).

15. Don't go lie on the couch after dinner or take a nap grab a couple of people and go for a walk. A 10 min walk will help with the Turkey Somnolence, improve energy and help with digestion.

16. Brush your teeth right after the meal. Go straight to the bathroom to brush, floss, and mouthwash so that your mouth is feeling nice and clean - this  makes it less appealing to eat more (especially before bedtime). Ever try to eat or drink something after brushing your teeth? Not tasty!

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