Lessen Holiday Weight Gain and Stress this Year

We know that the holidays are “the most wonderful time of the year”. We also know that they can be a time of added stress and weight gain. Acknowledging this ahead of time is a great place to start when avoiding stress and extra pounds during the holiday season, according to Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Divine Savior Healthcare, Emily Kraemer.

 “Many of the key components of not overeating and gaining weight involve planning ahead,” states Kraemer. “If you know you’ll be going to a party, consider planning your outfit in advance”.

Yes, wearing something festive and snug will make you pay more attention to how you’re carrying yourself and how your clothes are fitting. You will likely eat less and feel better about yourself. “Just be sure to not cheat and loosen your belt or unbutton your jeans,” jokes Kraemer.

If you are diabetic or maintaining a specific eating plan, another way to prepare is to bring a healthy dish to pass. This will lessen stress by ensuring that you’ll have at least one healthy thing there to eat. “I often encourage patients to consider mastering a go-to dish that they love, is easy to prepare, and is healthy. It ensures a healthy option for them and eliminates stress over what to bring.”

Lastly, plan to eat regularly throughout the day during the holidays, as you do throughout the remainder of year.  “Skipping meals doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll cut back on calories,” shares Emily.  “You will be more likely to overeat once you get to the party if you are overly hungry”.  It’s also important for those struggling to with diabetes to maintain healthy blood sugar levels by eating regularly scheduled meals.

“If you are struggling throughout the day, and want to mindlessly eat or stress eat, try chewing gum,” suggests Kraemer. Occupying your mouth with gum can help you avoid munching on extra snacks between meals and can often kill cravings for sweets and unnecessary calories. As a bonus, vigorous chomping can help some reduce stress and improve mood!

Once you are at a party or celebration, it is okay to get snobby about your food! “I always recommend taking a look at the buffet table before filling your plate,” shares Kraemer.  “Be deliberate in choosing items that you truly enjoy and do your best to make sure half of your plate is non-starchy vegetables. They will take the edge off of your appetite so you do not overeat, and they are also rich in nutrients”.

“Lastly, do not beat yourself up if you do decide to splurge over the holidays,” concludes Kraemer. “The holidays are stressful enough, enjoy them, and get back on track with balanced meals and exercising the next day”.  Being active during the holidays can help compensate for eating more than usual and is also a proven stress reliever.

By maintaining a healthy weight throughout the holidays, you will also avoid the stress that accompanies getting rid of unwanted pounds afterwards, which we all know are much harder to take off than put on!

The staff at Divine Savior wishes you happy and healthy holidays with your friends and family. If you or a loved one is struggling with diabetes management, healthy eating, or weight loss, Divine Savior has an Endocrinologist and a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist on staff, a monthly support group for diabetic patients and families, and offers many weight loss and nutrition solutions at La Vita. Start by discussing with your primary care provider today or visit www.dshealthcare.com for more information.

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