Holiday Weight Control Tips – It’s Not Just About What You Eat
It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving is almost here to officially kick off the holiday season. While it is a great time for family gatherings and holiday festivities, it can also be a source of anxiety for those concerned about weight gain. The holidays are fraught with calorie-laden temptations, making weight control a bit of a challenge. Of course, there are the usual tips to avoid weight gain during the holidays. These include things like using a small plate for portion control, skipping second helpings, limiting taste-testing while cooking and more. While all of these are solid tips to help with holiday weight control, you can take it to the next level by looking beyond simply limiting your calorie intake.
This is an important part of healthy weight control but it can easily fall to the bottom of your holiday to-do-list. If you already have an exercise regimen, be sure to carve out time and stick to it. If you’re simply too busy to complete an entire work out, modify it to fit your schedule. Just don’t eliminate it completely – some activity is better than none at all.
For some families, it’s a tradition to gather in front of the television to watch holiday movies and specials after dinner. No one is suggesting that you miss out on these, but before settling into the sofa, have the family bundle up and take a walk. It will give you an opportunity to burn a few calories while checking out the neighborhood’s holiday lights and decorations.
Get Plenty of Sleep
It’s very common not to get enough sleep during the holidays. This can leave you feeling exhausted but you probably didn’t realize that it could contribute to weight gain. Lack of sleep can cause changes to the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which regulate hunger and appetite. Leptin suppresses appetite and encourages the body to expend energy while ghrelin stimulates the appetite. Not getting enough sleep can lower leptin levels and increase ghrelin levels, resulting in an increased appetite and food intake. A 2013 study conducted by UC Berkeley also suggests that sleep deprivation is linked to junk food cravings.
Today’s busy lifestyles can sometimes be stressful and the holiday season only adds to that stress. Between finding the perfect gifts for everyone, attending holiday gatherings and all the cooking and baking, there are a lot more demands on your time than usual. It’s natural to get stressed out. Unfortunately, stress can lead to an increase in cortisol, a hormone the body releases as a response to that stress. Chronically high cortisol levels have been linked to increased food intake which could ultimately result in weight gain. Take time to relax during the holiday rush. Exercise, deep breathing and meditation can help reduce your stress level and make weight control easier.
If you’re trying to control your weight, the last thing you want to see when you hop on the scale is a couple of extra pounds. Keeping a close check on your weight will help reinforce your weight control efforts. Weighing in once a week is recommended. If you check your weight too often, you could become discouraged by normal fluid shifts.
Struggling with Weight Control?
These weight control tips can be helpful all year long but we understand that in some cases,, they are just not enough. Have you been struggling with your weight or has it begun to affect your health? If you haven’t had any weight loss success on your own, it might be time to consult with your doctor. Self-supervised weight loss plans don’t work for everyone. Your doctor can determine if a medical weight loss plan is right for you.
Long-term success will depend on permanent changes in your day-to-day life. The hardest part, however, is the first step. Getting started on your weight loss journey must begin somewhere. At Vive Medical Weight Loss and Aesthetics, that first step starts at your consultation. Dr. Pinto’s philosophy is to give you the jumpstart you need to achieve and then maintain a healthy weight. After all, isn’t that what you want? Why wait? Finish out the holidays armed for success.