25 Healthy Holiday Choices
Make it to the new year without gaining a pound
Are you tired, cranky, and feeling stressed over everything you need to do
this holiday season? Don't let the holidays undermine your weight loss success.
After all, it's only a few weeks until New Year's Day is upon us.
So get on that scale each week, and make sure you don't follow the tradition
of gaining a few pounds during each holiday season. Many folks gain a few
pounds in December and keep them all year long. Our mantra at WebMD Weight Loss
Clinic is "maintain, don't gain" during this festive time of year.
Get Your Z's
Of course, when you're faced with the inevitable array of holiday treats,
maintaining is not as easy as it sounds. You need to make good decisions at
parties and buffets, fit in physical activity, and get plenty of rest. Recent
research has made us more aware than ever before of how important it is to get
seven to eight hours of sleep each night. According to two studies published in
Annals of Internal Medicine, people who don't get enough sleep have
increased levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and decreased levels of the
hormone leptin, which signals fullness.
Sleep-deprived new parents, shift workers, college students, and others may
gain weight as altered hormone levels influence them to overeat. So do your
best to get to bed on time. Not only will it give you the extra energy you need
this time of year, it will help keep those hunger hormones working
10 Energizing Tips
Too much to do and too little time to get it done -- that's how many of us
feel this time of year. To stay on track without reaching for fudge, eggnog, or
cookies, you need a plan to keep your energy level high.
Try these 10 energizing tips to keep going strong:
- Don't leave home without it (breakfast, that is). Start your day with a
nutritious meal that will satisfy your hunger until lunchtime.
- Schedule meals every few hours, never more than five hours apart. Skipping
meals leads to overeating. It's better to plan a light, nutritious snack than
to overdose on high-calorie treats.
- Pack snacks and mini-meals when you know you'll be running low on time.
Take a sandwich and piece of fruit instead of going for less nutritious
alternatives at the mall food court or the office.
- Be sure to include protein foods in your snacks and mini-meals, to boost
the feeling of fullness.
- Schedule time for a regular workout, or strap on a pedometer and get your
activity while you shop or work. Nothing picks up your energy level like
- Quiet time or a catnap can be restorative. Give yourself 20 minutes to
refresh with quiet meditation or a little shuteye.
- Seven to eight hours of sleep each night works like a charm.
- Take a sunshine break. A quick walk outside can be invigorating.
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. It's easy to overlook when you're
busy, but this vital nutrient keeps muscles performing well and is essential to
- Get lively with some tunes. Research shows that music can increase energy,
so put on some music while you work.