Health tips to bounce through the holidays |

Health tips to bounce through the holidays

Jill Whisler, MS, Registered DietitianSpecial to the Sun

Hol andamp;#9674; i andamp;#9674; days (Hl daz): the period between Thanksgiving and the New Year during which one gives, does, and eats too much andamp;#8212; feeling frazzled, fat and fatigued.According to a recent Weight Watchers report, the average American gains 7-10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.Whether you are trying to maintain your weight, your budget, or your sanity, having a base of healthy habits is important. That means continuing to still eat healthy, exercise, and get enough sleep. Remember it is a hol-i-day not a hol-i-month. Here are a few tips that may help you healthfully bounce through this season.1. Alcohol: With twice as many calories per ounce as carbohydrates and fats, alcoholic beverages can take their toll. Toast with some bubbly and say cheers with wine or festive cocktails, but mix in a few nonalcoholic drinks such as club soda with a splash of cranberry and a twist of lime. It looks like a cocktail, but you’re actually rehydrating, cutting calories, and maintaining your designated driver status. The eggnog, mixed drinks, and punches can add an extra 500 calories in a cup. 2. Stay Active! With all the festivities at night from shopping to parties, it’s too easy to skip your nighttime workout regime. Try to get in the habit of exercising early so you feel more energetic the rest of the day. Take on seasonal activities like hiking, walking in the freshly fallen snow, swimming indoors, or renewing that gym membership. Being active is the best way to reduce your stress and clear your mind during the holiday season. Think of exercise as your brain floss. You need to daily to keep your head clear! 3. Get Your Zzzzzz’s: Getting enough sleep will help preserve your sanity, patience and keep your weight down. A recent study revealed people who sleep five hours per night are 73 percent more likely to become obese than those who get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. The appetite-related hormone leptin may be affecting sleep deprivation. If you’re having a difficult time getting sleep, limit your caffeine after lunch, give yourself time to relax before bedtime. A good excuse to read a book or take a bath. With less sleep, one tends to also overindulge to stay awake the next day. Not to mention all the excess calories that can sneak up on us after dinner. Night-time eating an easy way to put weight on quick! It may help if you tell yourself you don’t want to eat two hours before you go to bed. 4. Develop a Plan! Think about upcoming situations which may tempt you to overindulge. Skipping breakfast or lunch may cause you to overeat and consume more calories than if you had eaten. Set yourself up to succeed. Have a hard boiled egg or a few turkey slices before you go. This will help curb your appetite and put yourself in better control of your food choices. Then instead of mindlessly digging into the bowl of Mandamp;M’s or chips and salsa, remind yourself that you just need a few. Fill your plate with color andamp;#8212; fruits and vegetables! Save your calories for your favorite holiday foods and enjoy them guilt-free. 5. Take Ownership! As much as we would love to blame the seven extra pounds on eating Aunt Lucy’s shepherd pie, we need to take ownership. Give yourself a present this year andamp;#8212; freedom from guilt that comes with food. First, give yourself the power to say no to food. Stop thinking that food has any kind of human characteristics. Food is not good or bad. It’s merely food, some healthy and some not so healthy. Secondly, the most important piece, you are deciding how much you want. Keep in mind seven less bites at each meal cuts 100 calories. That can make the difference of the average seven pound gain or not. The 300 calories that you worked your tail off at the gym can be lost in one minute sampling a fresh cookie. You need to decide if it is worth it. Some days, it may be! But when it becomes a andamp;#8220;treatandamp;#8221; or andamp;#8220;I deserveandamp;#8221; everyday, then it becomes a hard habit to break. 6. Enjoy the Season! The holidays only come once a year. Make this year you get back to basics. If you have a tendency to overspend, make a budget and stick to it. If you do too much, set priorities. Taking care of yourself can help others around you. Focus on those around you andamp;#8212; family, friends, co-workers rather than focusing on the food or stress. Think about what you are celebrating, not just about how great the food is! andamp;#8212; Jill Whisler, MS, Registered Dietitian at the Tahoe Center for Health and Sports Performance a service of Tahoe Forest Health System. Whisler teaches weight loss programs and conducts individual nutrition consultations.

Simplify your holiday shopping and give a special gift certificate andamp;#8212;the gift of wellness! TCHSP has gift certificates available for Fitness Center memberships, specialty exercise programs, fitness testing and more!Keep in shape this holiday season and start the New Year off right!You can join the TCHSP any time and many membership options are available. Call 587-3769 today for gift certificates, more information on weight loss and nutrition consultations, or to find the fitness options that work for you.

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