Avoid Thanksgiving Weight Gain

Don’t pour on the stress like you pour on the gravy.  It’s effortless to gain weight during this time.  So many stressors: rich food and drink, family dynamics and all while the kids are home and work duties remain.  It’s easy to skip out on exercise, sleep and all the good things we need to do.  Don’t feed off the guilt; we have some tips to help stay on track:

10 Ways on How to Avoid Thanksgiving Weight Gain  and Stay Healthy

  1. Get moving. Even if it’s a short walk, the more you move the better you’ll feel.
  2. Plan ahead. Bring a healthy dish to the party, or eat a healthy snack before you go.
  3. Avoid grazing. Instead of snacking at a buffet, serve yourself a portion to feel satisfied.
  4. Skip seconds. Portion control can help prevent feeling blotted after a holiday meal.
  5. Veg-out. Choose mostly vegetables, then enjoy some of the less healthy holiday food.
  6. Drink up. Fill your glass with water often to avoid drinking your calories.
  7. Focus on connections. There’s no better time to connect with loved ones.
  8. Manage your stress. Chronically high cortisol levels may cause weight gain.
  9. Be accepting. You will not eat perfectly at holiday meals, and that’s okay.
  10. Feel proud. You’re conscious of, and improving, your eating and exercise behaviors.

 

Your Holiday Weight Loss Survival Guide

Pass the gravy, please! The best way to avoid weight gain this Thanksgiving is to not let your hunger get the better of you. “Nutrition scientists suspect that the key to long-term weight control is an eating plan that gives you the most satisfaction, or satiety, for the least number of calories,” says Registered Dietician, Kimberly Gomer, Director of Nutrition at the Pritikin Center in Miami, Florida. “Most weight loss strategies, frustratingly so, do just the opposite.” Focusing on whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains, instead of traditional American packaged diet foods, can help prevent uncontrollable hunger and promote weight loss. Applying this strategy to Thanksgiving can help you avoid weight gain.

 

Thanksgiving Stress and Weight Gain

It is important to use strategies that lower your stress levels – experiencing elevated cortisol levels for long durations can promote weight gain. One of the best ways to reduce stress and feel great is to get moving! “When you exercise your mood elevates, serotonin levels increase …studies show you feel better when you exercise,” advises Jamie Costello, Director of Fitness at the Pritikin Center.

According to one research study, your best option this Thanksgiving may be to go for a walk outside. Researchers found experiences in nature beneficially influenced the level of stress hormone, called cortisol. Simply getting outside produced about a 20% drop in cortisol levels. The greatest effect occurred when adults got between 20 to 30 minutes of exposure to nature. This Thanksgiving schedule in a half-hour walk outside! It may help you reduce stress. Plus, being physically active is always part of a healthy lifestyle.

 

How do I Stop Overeating at Thanksgiving?

When events are food-centric, filled with the types of foods that are irresistible (salty, fatty, sweet), it can be hard to avoid eating more than you planned. Utilizing strategies can help with controlling holiday binges, such as taking a time-out to give yourself a pep talk.

Most importantly, remember to, “distinguish between a slip (lapse) and a relapse (abandonment of goals and return to uncontrolled behavior),” notes Dr. Scott Hyman, Clinical Psychologist and Educator at the Pritikin Center. Doing so can greatly improve your chances of staying on track and achieving your healthy lifestyle goals. “The most important thing about longevity and happiness is your connections and relationships with other people,” emphasises Dr. Coral Avron, Director of Behavioural Health and Wellness at Pritikin.

What Should I Not Eat at Thanksgiving?

From bacon wrapped smokies to buttery mash potatoes with gravy, there are many foods served at Thanksgiving meals that are not part of your healthy lifestyle. Enjoy one …one. Savor it, and own the experience. Try not to eat multiple meals filled with unhealthy food choices – that’s one of the best strategies to avoid Thanksgiving weight gain. Then, move onto a healthy food choice. Worried such a healthy option won’t be there? Offer to bring a healthy item to the festivities.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner with your loved ones and, “…focus on building connections with them, instead of stressing over what foods you shouldn’t eat,” recommends Dr. Hyman. It is the healthiest thing you could do! For you and your loved ones to enjoy a happy, healthy Thanksgiving.

Author
Shahan Chowdhury, MD aka Dr. C Dr. C is a passionate concierge physician in Frisco that lives to prevent heart attacks and strokes (and so much more). She deconstructs the problem(s) and uses an holistic approach to problem solve. In doing so, patient and physician work together to build on small successful steps.

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