Skip to main content

Common Challenges: Happy and Healthy through the Holidays

Last year the New England Journal of Medicine published that on average North Americans gain one pound of weight from Thanksgiving to New Years Day.  Of course, this is an average number meaning some gain less and some gain more.

I've thought about this a lot because, in my opinion, Thanksgiving through New Years is the most difficult time of the year when it comes to nutrition counseling. Most of my clients live in absolute fear of gaining weight.  To them it means failure, disappointment, and can increase negative feelings about body image.  In addition to that fear, stress is at an all time high with holiday travelling, food preparation, and gift giving and focusing on nutrition can almost be debilitating.  

What if the focus on the holidays from a weight management perspective was just to maintain?   Would that take some of the pressure off or ease the fear of failure?  I think it's worth a try so here are some of my tips to maintain through the holidays.

1)  When it comes to holiday baking plan accordingly.  Your thoughtfulness is wonderful and I'm sure rewarding, but if having excess in your house promotes overeating it may not be worth making that extra batch or two.  In most cases two additional cookies a day added to your daily nutrition can add .25 to .5 of weight gain a week.  Evaluate your plan and change if necessary.  It's okay to allow yourself to be the priority.

2) Do you feel like you overeat when you have a special holiday meal?  Why don't you step completely out of your comfort zone and make new traditions by changing up your holiday menu? This allows for the holiday to become less about the food and more about the event.

3) Do you have a lot of holiday parties to attend?  Bring your own dish.   You can control what is in the dish by modifying the recipe or bringing something that may be a little healthier than the other offerings.  When you get to the party assess the offerings and plan to choose small portions of the other dishes.  Use your dish as the main staple for your snack or meal.

4)  Stay active.  If you don't "exercise" routinely that's okay but what simply moving more?  The fact of the matter is that physical activity helps burn calories. If you find that you eat a little more during the holidays physical activity can balance the extra calories you are consuming.   This doesn't mean you have to hit the treadmill.  Do something you like. Physical activity also helps release endorphins which can manage that extra stress.

5)  My final tip is to challenge yourself.  Plan for ANOTHER holiday meal after the holidays.  Invite your friends or keep it small with your family.  If you know you can get this meal another time during the year, do you still feel the need to overeat?  I often feel people overeat that pumpkin pie because they feel they can't get it any other time of the year.

I think we put enough pressure on ourselves and it's time to make a change.  If you are trying to lose weight you can always focus and be very successful for ten and a half months of a year.  If the remaining month and a half is maintenance that is still a win.  How about maintaining weight and healthy lifestyle changes this holiday?  Can you focus on celebrating all the great changes that have become habitual, and allow yourself to enjoy the real reason for the holidays?  Who's ready for the challenge?  Happy Holidays all!


Comments

Lose weight said…
With obesity predicted to affect more than 50 percent of the population in the next 40 years, the age of ‘fad diets’ and ‘quick weight loss’ has boomed to epic proportions. From the apple cider diet to the Quantum Wellness, to the 48 Hour Miracle diet, each of these weight loss programs all claim to promote immediate weight loss and increased vitality.
This is simply not correct. Fruits, veggies, whole grain, nut products, dried beans as well as oils, many include proteins. Meats in fact has high levels of sodium, fat and salt, particularly in red meat which is not so healthy due to its high levels of cholesterol. Whole grain, nuts, oils, and dried beans in fact onsist of more proteins than in meat products. Your own body requires at least 25 grams of protein per day ,so it is obvious you do not haveto eat only meat to obtain your day-to-day allowance.
lose weight

Popular posts from this blog

Spotlight: Changes to schedule, New Offerings, and More

Changes to  Hours:

Kindred Clients please note that our evening hours will change effective 4/11/2016.  Our Monday office hours will now be 2- 6:30 PM and our Wednesday hours will now be 2:00-6:00 PM.  Evening hours are reserved for children in school or for adults that do not have a flexible schedule.  Please note, these hours are in high demand and a cancellation may result in an inability for you to get back into the schedule for multiple weeks. 



Kindred Nutrition will now have LIMITED Friday hours from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM. For now we will only be accepting new clients into these appointment slots.

Yoga

Starting 4/11/2016 Kindred Nutrition will host Yoga Therapy with Julie Hanson click here for more information.  To sign up please complete the information at the bottom of Julie's site or simply call 301-580-0008 to confirm.

Julie Hanson will also be teaching a Yoga for Everyone class on Tuesdays 11am-12 pm.  Click here for more information.  Kindred Nutrition will again host thi…

Nutrition Tips: Fat Isn't the Enemy (FITE)

We hear so much about carbs and protein.  Some people claim a high protein diet is the best way to lose weight, or there are people who insist everyone should only eat carbs from the low glycemic list. But fat doesn’t make the conversation much, and that’s because we all know we need to avoid it, right? Fat is evil.  Almost as despicable as gluten...but not quite. 
Dietary fat (I wish we could come up with a better word for this) is found in animal products - meats, dairy - yogurt, cheese, milk, and eggs, but we can also find it in nature with our nuts, seeds, and avocado.  Of course, our baked goods like muffins and cookies have fat are included in the ingredients to make them moist and tasty!  
Food companies have made it entirely POSSIBLE to eat a fat-free diet.  And why wouldn’t you want to? Fat (okay, I’m thinking of a new word now) has been demonized during the past few decades.  We’ve heard that eating too much fat, or any at all depending on who you listen to, will cause us to b…

Insightful Intern - Eating to Lose Weight

In order to lose weight, we often are told that energy out must be greater than energy in.   In other words, calories taken in must be less than the calories we use in all of our daily activities.  So, to lose weight we cut calories and try to increase activity.  (Granted, there is more to weight loss/maintenance than just an exchange in energy.  What if we cut too many calories or don’t eat enough?
Since I started at Kindred Nutrition, I’ve heard many of Amy’s or Dawn’s clients talk about how they’ve cut back on calories to lose weight but have hit a weight-loss plateau.  Many a time when a client discusses this occurrence, we eventually come to the conclusion that the client is not eating enough.  This probably sounds foreign but you do need to eat in order to lose weight!  If you’re not eating enough your body goes into “starvation mode.”   Then whenever you do eat your body automatically stores those calories as fat because it is worried that it is not going to get enough calorie…