Monday, December 5, 2016

Tips For Surviving The Holiday Season

It is the holiday season.  Which means there are plenty of friends and family gatherings to enjoy each other’s company and most importantly enjoy our favorite foods and beverages.  It is also a time to easily get sidetracked regarding your health and fitness.  Here are tips on how you can enjoy the festivities and not put on the extra pounds in the process.

Moderation:  Most of the traditional holiday foods are high in fat, sodium, and sugar.  We tend to eat the foods simply because it is there and fits our cravings.  One easy way to learn when your body has had enough food is to use a smaller plate. This will automatically decrease your food intake. Chew your food slowly, paying attention to the taste and texture. Unless it’s a fruit or a vegetable, don’t make the assumption that the healthy foods you’re eating are low calories.

Also, start by filling your plate with vegetables and salad before going to the entrees and desserts. Eating a salad before your meal can help you eat fewer calories overall.

Drink Plenty of Water:  The health authorities commonly recommend eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon. This is called the 8×8 rule and is very easy to remember.  I would recommend to anyone that is active to drink a gallon day.  Instances where you’re consuming alcohol can increase your chances of being dehydrated the following day.

Drink 12 glasses of water following a night of consuming alcohol. Do not drink them all at once. Space the glasses out over a 12-hour period. Be careful not to drink too much water because that can cause other serious problems, such as water intoxication.  

Consume a sports drink that contains electrolytes. Too much water when you are dehydrated can cause you to lose valuable electrolytes. Drinking sports drinks can help replace those electrolytes while hydrating your body.

Be Mindful of Calories:   If you’re like most people, you will indulge in high-calorie foods more so this time of year. But you need to keep in mind that calories add up fast.  It’s easy to say, “I’ll just burn these extra calories off at the gym.”  When you consume the donuts at breakfast or the slice of cake at the company holiday party how much extra work will you have to do?

The amount of time it takes to burn off a certain number of calories changes depending on your current weight and the type of exercise you choose. For example, someone who weighs 150 pounds burns:
  • Approximately 300 calories per half hour of swimming.
  • Almost 200 calories per half hour of walking
  • More than 180 calories per half hour of yoga.
People who weigh more will burn a greater number of calories doing these activities because their bodies are heavier. On the other hand, lighter people burn fewer calories doing the same activities.

Just Say No:  Just because the food is there doesn’t mean you need partake in EVERYTHING that is at your disposal.  Attending multiple events the eating can get out of hand and so will the fat and pounds.  Pick and choose which events you will eat at.  Be more discipline with your meal prep and exercise routines.  

“Mindless eating has always been an issue,” said Riska Platt, M.S., a registered dietitian and certified nutritionist for the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York. “The key to mindful eating is awareness. Just by paying more attention to what you eat, you’re more likely to make beneficial changes.”