The Holiday Season gives us plenty of opportunities to eat, drink and socialize. With all the festivities, all of the endless tables of delicious food, the wine and egg nog, we don’t realize how quickly we can pack on a few extra pounds. The average weight gain over the holidays is 1.2 pounds, which may not sound like very much. But when you consider that people rarely ever lose the weight over the following year, that can add up to 15 pounds in less than 10 years. How can you avoid this common dietary pitfall?
Start off with a plan. And the plan should include the following suggestions.
- Here is the most obvious, and perhaps the most rewarding tip: EAT WHAT YOU LOVE. Imagine your calories to be a debit account, and everything you eat causes a withdrawal from a limited amount of calories. Why waste any on foods you don’t absolutely love, or food that you can eat all year round? Stick with seasonal, food-that-makes-your-mouth-water treats. Eat those in reasonable portions.
- Avoid over-indulging on the trimmings. Really eyeing those mashed potatoes? Have some! But skip on the butter and the gravy. Don’t over-do it on calorie packed extras like nuts, cheese, cream-based sauces and dressings, gravy, butter or whipped cream. Try skipping appetizers, or munch on the available veggies like celery and carrots.
- Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is not only going to add additional calories to your evening, but it will lower your ability to pass up that second serving of pecan pie. Have a glass of water or diet soda in between glasses of wine.
- Wear snug fitting clothes. Wearing loose clothes will allow you to eat more; you won’t feel the belly bulge. A belly bulge is your stomach's way of letting you know it’s full... very full!
- Don’t skip meals that day. Start the day off with a high-fiber breakfast. Attending a holiday gathering with a ravenous appetite is the perfect recipe for disaster. Drink a lot of water to retain that full feeling. Adopting a starvation/binge-eating mentality is unhealthy and will not result in permanent weight-loss.
- Remember that the holidays are not just about food! Hang out and visit with family and friends! Plan to make the night more about conversation and closeness! It will help distract you from all of the tempting food.
- Contribute a healthy meal to the party! This will ensure that you and your family have a healthy alternative to a high-caloric, high-fat entree.
- Stay active! Add an extra 20 minutes to your cardio routine to burn off some extra calories, or add a workout to your week if you don’t exercise already! Physical Activity not only keeps you at a healthy weight, but is proven to help with a restful nights sleep and a decrease in stress levels.
Happy Holidays from WSPT!
Arthritis affects over 50 million Americans, a number that rises each year as the U.S population ages. It attacks joints such as the knees or hands, and can make everyday tasks painful or impossible. Living with arthritis is a day-to-day struggle, but there are steps you can take to alleviate the symptoms and prevent painful inflammation. They don’t require prescription or advanced medicines either, they are the cornerstones of healthy living: Diet and Exercise.
How does my diet affect my condition?
Many people who suffer from arthritis aren’t aware of how their diets can impact their condition. But recent research has shown that there are foods which can reduce in frequency and severity the harmful reactions that occur within the body that lead to arthritis aches and pains.
Popular Nutrition Questions:
People with arthritis often ask ‘Are there certain foods I should eat to improve my arthritis symptoms? Are there foods I should avoid to prevent my arthritis symptoms from worsening?’” says Maria Romano MS RD CDN, WSPT’s resident dietician. “These are million-dollar questions.” Maria notes that there are no studies that result in conclusive evidence of one food being more beneficial than another, but there are some studies that have revealed promising results.
A study at Mount Sinai medical center revealed that foods cooked at high temperatures, such as grilled meats, fried eggs and microwaved meals, increase levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs are a naturally-occurring compound in the body that are believed to be linked to inflammation of joints and tissues. Replacing such foods in your diet with steamed, simmered or broiled options reduces the AGEs and, potentially, the symptoms of arthritis.
Omega -3 and Arthritis
The correlation (between Omega-3 and arthritis) has not yet been proven in clinical trials, but anecdotal data appears promising. Some foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids include: salmon, walnuts, ground flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, olive oil, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, avocados, etc.,” says Maria. She also recommends keeping Omega-3 fish oil supplements in the freezer to reduce unpleasant, fishy burps.
Another beneficial food for arthritis sufferers is olive oil, which was recently discovered to contain high levels of the same anti-inflammatory compounds found in ibuprofen. One Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia study found that 3 1/2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil is equivalent to 200mg of ibuprofen.
What else can I do?
It is recommended that people with arthritis begin doing a warm-water therapy treatment. Aqua therapy is low-impact, increases strength and flexibility, and can provide a robust exercise session without wearing on joints and bones. The warm water also provides relief to aching joints.
WSPT recently launched the BronxFit
diet and exercise program, a 12-week course designed for people who are just beginning to work on losing weight and improving the way they eat. Maria Romano, MS, RD, CDN teaches 6 1-hour nutrition classes throughout the program and our Personal Trainer, Jason Bonilla provides 6 1-hour fitness sessions. The objective of the program is to deliver a well-rounded, accessible program for fitness beginners. The course involves a combination of:
- 6 1-hour Personal Training sessions
- 6 1-hour Nutrition classes
- Full Gym Access for the 12-week length of the program
Visit BronxFit for more information.