HCA Virginia Physicians
November 04, 2015

Say No to Holiday Over-Indulgence

Starting in October with Halloween, the fall season can be a veritable minefield of both tasty and deceptively high-calorie food and drinks. With these indulgences we often notice our bathroom scales have trended upward by January. Here are some healthy tips to keep us mindful of our intake throughout the holiday season. Let’s start our resolution of preventing weight gain now!

Avoid keeping candy and sweets around the house.

Buy items only a few days prior to holiday celebrations instead of a week or more before. How many times have we bought in advance before Halloween or Christmas and needed to re-purchase throughout the month for trick-or-treaters or stockings?  If it isn’t available, you will not be as tempted to consume.

Don’t keep sweets around for weeks after the event.

Take it to work, other events, or gatherings. Also, this is not the time to take advantage of sales on leftover candy. Instead buy a nice decorative item for the house that you can enjoy for years to come, with a far lower caloric cost.

Keep exercise and activity an important part of your weekly routine.

During October through December, add a few minutes to your standard routine. Walk to a co-workers office or desk instead of calling. Push the grocery cart back into the store instead of leaving it in the outside cart return. If possible, take the stairs instead of an elevator. Every extra step counts!

Don’t head into a holiday meal hungry.

Many of us will skip breakfast on the morning before a big celebration or gathering to save plenty of room for mom’s famous dishes. This can lead to overeating. This year, start your day with a healthy breakfast and head into the festivities with a low level of hunger.

Watch your liquid calorie intake!

Punches, ciders, cocoas, flavored coffee-based drinks, and adult beverages add calories and do not provide satiety. A small amount packs A LOT of calories to your day – a large cider is the equivalent of eating a donut. The type and level of activity needed to burn what would be in a small hot chocolate is to run a mile or more! Experiment with low sugar or calorie free options, and don’t forget our good friend water.

Remember to enjoy the company around you more than the food on your plate.

Interact with family and friends in conversation, and put your fork and knife down to chat for a moment. Allowing space in between bites will give your stomach time to send that full feeling signal to your brain.

Schedule an annual exam with your doctor.

Not only can your doctor help guide your nutritional habits through the holidays, he can get a baseline of data for you to determine how to optimize your health in 2016. Your doctor will also let you know if there are any age or life stage issues for which you could be at risk, and help you manage those potential challenges appropriately.

Book Your Next Appointment Now

If we are mindful with our eating and limited in our indulgences, we may have one less New Year’s resolution to which we need to attend. Have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season!

If you have questions about healthy eating, weight loss, or surgical management of obesitycontact Mandy Mirzaie, RD, at 804-360-0600.