Medical Moment: Keeping Pounds Off Over The Holidays

 

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Bridget Taddonio, Wellness Counselor

Bridget Taddonio, Wellness Counselor

Wellness counselor Bridget Taddonio answers this week’s question: How can I keep off the holiday pounds?

There’s a reason why the most popular New Year’s resolution each year is to lose weight: most people tend to gain weight during the holidays. However, that needn’t happen. The key to avoiding weight gain this holiday season is to enjoy the foods you eat while remaining mindful of overindulgence. Here are some helpful strategies to add more joy to your holidays…without adding more notches to your belt.

Eat the foods you enjoy the MOST:

Do you ever find yourself mindlessly snacking on mediocre holiday treats just because they’re sitting right in front of you or because someone else is eating them? Don’t waste calories overeating stale sugar cookies or waxy popcorn. Save your discretional calories for the special treats you look forward to all year long, like a creamy piece of Williams Sonoma Peppermint Bark, or a warm cup of homemade eggnog. Yummm!

Be mindful of portion size:

Ever wonder why restrictive diets don’t work? Because they place foods into “good” and “bad” categories, making us feel proud when we eat from the “good” group and extremely guilty when we eat from the “bad” category. This holiday, give yourself some grace and practice what I like to call, “Grey Eating.” With Grey Eating ALL foods are good, but some foods we just need to eat in moderation. Try eating larger portions of the foods you know are healthy (fruits and veggies) and smaller portions of the more indulgent, highly caloric choices.

Limit liquid calories:

Our bodies don’t register liquid calories the same way they register solid ones. For example, we can consume a lot of highly caloric eggnog without triggering our satiation hormone, but that same amount of calories in solid form would put us into a post Thanksgiving-esque food coma! This holiday season try to eat your calories rather than drinking them. Also, keep in mind that most alcohol is high in calories and decreases our resistance to temptation, which often times leads to overindulgence. It’s OK to have an occasional glass of red wine or festive cocktail, but do not drink on an empty stomach, and whenever possible, try to stick with non-caloric beverages, like water!

Drop the guilt: Don’t beat yourself up if you do overeat. New research has found that people who experience guilt after eating large amounts of foods tend to eat more snacks than those who feel no guilt. Remember to practice a little self-grace and enjoy this holiday season without the guilt.

Editor’s note: The Telluride Medical Center is the only 24-hour emergency facility within 65 miles.  As a mountain town in a challenging, remote environment, a thriving medical center is vital to our community’s health. 

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