The holiday season means making memories with friends and family throughout the fall and winter. A lot of these memories are centered around gathering at the table. Holiday weight gain is a very common concern for adults because the season involves sedentary behaviors and encourages overeating calorie-rich foods. In fact, adults in Western societies gain an average of 1 pound from November into January. Year after year, that can lead to significant weight gain. But holiday weight gain is preventable without sacrificing too much of your favorite foods.
Why Do I Need to Focus on Healthy Eating?
Healthy eating protects us from chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. There are a lot of "diets" out there and everyone has ideas of what "healthy" eating looks like. However, the goal is to create a happy relationship with food that helps improve your health - even over the holidays. Eating in moderation, listening to your body, and opting for healthier options can help you spend less time focused on holiday weight gain and more time focusing on the memories you're making.
Eat in Moderation
Whether you're hosting Christmas dinner or headed to someone's house, provide some healthier eating options. This includes:
• Kale salad with apples and toasted almonds
• Roasted brussels sprouts with bacon & chestnuts
• Honey glazed carrots
• Cauliflower mashed potatoes
• Wheat bread
These are great sides to make that are not only good for you, but good tasting.
Listen to Your Body
The holidays are also a great time to practice mindful, or intuitive, eating. The season can become very stressful, which leads to multitasking while eating or completely skipping meals. Being mindful and focusing on what you're eating, will be more satisfying. Not skipping meals will help prevent overeating from being very hungry. Paying attention to our body's satiety signals and minimizing distractions such as work, tv, driving, etc. can help us focus on what our bodies are telling us.
Wait to Eat More
When it comes to eating around the table during the holidays, you can practice mindful eating by putting your fork down and taking a drink between bites. Wait until your mouth isn't full to start conversations. If you've finished your plate, wait 10 minutes to see if you are still hungry. You may find that you're full.
Helping you live a healthy lifestyle and to your highest potential is our goal at Ascend Medical. If you are concerned about weight gain or any medical conditions related to it, please reach out to one of our experienced providers today! Happy Holidays from our Ascend Medical family to yours!Schedule Your Appointment Now