This post is sponsored by HCA Midwest Health.
It’s hard to believe the holidays are here, which is a time of socializing and, of course, eating. We all want to try and eat healthier, especially if you struggle with your weight. What are some good strategies to start now? It’s never too early to start watching what you eat!
On average, Americans gain approximately one to two pounds during the holiday season. While this weight gain isn’t dramatic, research shows it tends to stick and accumulate over the years. Luckily, those pounds can be avoided through mindful eating in moderation and a few simple strategies.
Here Are 8 Tips to Help Avoid Weight Gain
- Mindful eating: a good practice for every day of the year. And think of having a game plan going into certain events.
- Don’t skip meals throughout the day as this may result in overeating. It’s especially important to have breakfast, as research shows that those who eat this important morning meal tend to consume fewer calories throughout the day.
- Include lots of fiber in your diet by eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Fiber-rich foods are high in volume and will satisfy hunger, but are lower in calories. There is a lot of science about gut health and the link to obesity. Fiber helps the good bacteria in your gut. Also consider starting a probiotic to promote good gut health.
- Avoid liquid calories. There a lot of them during the holidays especially in the fun drinks and cocktails. It is a huge source of calories that we easily forget about. Bring your own low calories drinks to make it easier.
- Use a smaller plate, which encourages proper portion sizes.
- Bring your own favorite low calorie meal or dessert to your family gathering, work party, etc. That way you know there is something you can savor without worrying about how high calorie it is.
- Eat slowly and savor every bite, and consider avoiding all the extra sauces and condiments. Before deciding on a second helping, wait 10 minutes to see if you’re really still hungry.
- After you eat, get some physical activity—it can be as simple as going for a brisk walk, standing up to visit around the room. Just keep moving.
Dr. Nicole Fearing is board-certified bariatric and general surgeon with HCA Midwest Health. Dr Fearing is the director of the bariatric surgical program at Menorah Medical Center and the bariatric fellowship director at HCA Midwest Health.