The average weight gain from November to January is one pound instead of the five pounds you may
think. However, most people do not shed that weight over the winter. Taking into account other
special events such as birthdays, weddings and anniversaries, pounds can add up. Excess weight gain is
a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes and some kinds of cancer.
Below are some tips for avoiding weight gain during the holidays as well as other special occasions.
DON’T STARVE YOURSELF BEFORE A SPECIAL PARTY OR DINNER
In doing so, your body’s sugar level will drop resulting in the tendency to binge. Starvation causes a
decrease in your body’s metabolism (ability to burn fat). In other words, if you starve yourself, your
body won’t know when its next meal will be and will store excess calories.
ALLOW YOURSELF A TREAT
It’s ok to enjoy a small piece of cake or a cookie. In doing so, you may not binge later on.
EAT BEFORE YOU EAT!
Before a party or dinner, have a small, healthy filling snack high in fiber (fiber works to slow down
digestion) and protein (protein prolongs the feeling of fullness better than carbs and fats and requires
more calories to digest).
Stress increases levels of a hormone known as cortisol which stimulates the appetite and prompts the
body to store fat. Try a deep breathing exercise, take a walk or try an activity you enjoy – even if it is for
just 15 minutes.
A 12 ounce serving of beer contains 150 calories while a glass of wine contains 85 calories. A cream
drink is the equivalent of eating a big piece of cake. For each alcoholic beverage consumed, try to drink
a glass of water. This will help you feel full and hydrate as well. Or, try a spritzer with club soda,
cranberry juice and lime.
Lack of sleep affects the appetite-regulating hormone known as leptin. Decreased amounts of leptin
interrupt the brain’s signal that you are full.
COUNT TO TEN
The average craving lasts for 10 minutes. So, before you reach for that cookie, wait for 10 minutes and
hopefully your craving will subside.
ASK FOR A DOGGIE BAG
Eating out? Set aside 1/3 of your meal and ask to take it home. Bring it in for lunch the next day. This
may save 500 calories.
Many studies have shown that cinnamon reduces blood sugar levels and lowers insulin resistance. Add
some cinnamon to your cereal, beverage or fruit.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
If you slip up, don’t give up!