November 30, 2009

Plan For Weight-Gain-Free Holiday Season

With the holidays upon us, it's important to be judicious with your food intake throughout the season to avoid holiday weight gain, said a physician at Baylor College of Medicine.

"The holiday season is a six-week-long food fest," said Dr. Steve Rosenbaum, assistant professor of medicine and section chief of general internal medicine at the Baylor Clinic. "If you do not want to look in the mirror Jan. 1, 2010 and feel depressed, it's important to pace your eating."

Keep this mindset at holiday parties and family gatherings, Rosenbaum said.

Take inventory, watch portion sizes

As food is passed around or set out, Rosenbaum suggested taking inventory in your brain and your tummy to avoid the over-eating binge.

Ask yourself: "ËœHow hungry am I?' "ËœHow do I feel?'

"With your first serving, take an adequate amount," said Rosenbaum. "Do not overload."

Psychologically, Rosenbaum said, we may be inclined to eat everything we see on our plate so be cautious of how much you put on there.

Family pressure

Succumbing to family pressure can also cause overeating, Rosenbaum said.

"If you load your plate, you may feel obligated to eat it all to please mom, dad or a spouse," said Rosenbaum. "If a family member wants you to try a certain item, serve a small portion. Do not feel like you have to eat a lot to make him or her happy."

Second helpings

Before going back for seconds, allow yourself at least 10 to 15 minutes to decide if you really want or need more food.

"Sit and enjoy the company, engage in conversation or have a cup of coffee," said Rosenbaum.

Also realize the extra calories in alcohol, Rosenbaum said. Wine, punch, and eggnog all have lots of calories.

"Sip slower," said Rosenbaum. "You may avoid the third or fourth glass with extra time."

If you overeat

If you do overeat, Rosenbaum suggested you get up and walk around or sit in a more comfortable chair, especially before engaging in that annual touch football game or any high-impact activity.

Enjoy holiday season

"If we serve ourselves less, we can really enjoy the holiday season and avoid weight gain," said Rosebaum. "You will be proud of yourself and have a sense of accomplishment."


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