Facebook Twitter YouTube

Newsletter Sign-Up

Your Health!

' Tis the Season To Be Healthy!

The dinners, the candy, cakes, pies, puddings, the family gatherings that become "food fests" and the chilly evenings in your home relaxing in front of the TV watching your favorite movie or game with popcorn or nachos sitting on your lap can all lead to holiday weight gain. Research shows that most people gain weight from mid November through the first week in January. It is important to realize that for the majority of us, we will NOT lose this weight but rather it will continue to add up and we continue to lose the "battle of the bulge". This is not just about not being able to fit into that cute Easter suit, it is more about what this added weight gain does to your risk of diabetes, heart disease, breast and colon cancer as these are all added risks when you are overweight. More inside...
 

Dr. Sharon Allison Ottey' Tis the Season

Sharon D. Allison-Ottey, MD
 
To AVOID weight gain and remain healthy.  The holidays are not a "free pass" on your health.
 
The dinners, the candy, cakes, pies, puddings, the family gatherings that become "food fests"  and the chilly evenings in your home relaxing in front of the TV watching  your favorite movie or game with popcorn or nachos sitting on your lap can all lead to holiday weight gain.  Research shows that most people gain weight from mid November through the first week in January.  It is important to realize that for the majority of us, we will NOT lose this weight but rather it will continue to add up and we continue to lose the "battle of the bulge".  This is not just about not being able to fit into that cute Easter suit, it is more about what this added weight gain does to your risk of diabetes, heart disease, breast and colon cancer as these are all added risks when you are overweight.

God truly wants us to be in good health and to keep our temples together.  This does not mean that you walk around sucking on celery sticks during the holidays and feel deprived.  Food is good and good for you;  but everything in moderation. 

Here are a few  tips:

1.        PLAN for the extra calories that you WILL eat during the festivities.  This means that you may eat a lighter breakfast, lunch and snacks prior to your main meal or event.  Do NOT skip meals, this will only lead to you overeating.   During the event, seek out the healthier alternatives like the veggie platters, vegetables, fruits, shrimp cocktail, grilled chicken strips and drink plenty of water.  One great tip is to make sure that you "snack" before you go to the event so that you will not be starving and tempted to overeat.

 

2.       Do not DRINK any calories (this is a good tip for anytime).  Drink water, unsweetened ice tea or beverages with no calorie sweeteners.  I do advise avoiding diet sodas which often will increase your appetite and therefore cause you to eat more. Try drinking a full eight ounce glass of water before your meal.  Extra tip:  carry sweeteners in your purse--- nothing works like water, lemon and Splenda-zero calories and a natural diuretic.

 

3.       STICK with your exercise program and I actually recommend that you increase your intensity and time during the holidays to keep off the pounds. Try to wake up an extra 30 minutes early and add that time into your workout or add another workout to your week.  Go for a walk and take your spouse or family, you ALL need to be healthier.  If you don't exercise, NOW is a great time to start-don't wait until January 1st.

 

4.       SHARE your goals on weight loss with family, friends and as appropriate your church members.  You should not "wear it on your sleeve" and appear to be suffering-diets don't work but lifestyle changes do!  However, you can say that you are eating healthy and that during the holidays you are praying to stay on track.  I encourage you to "discourage" them from bringing your family high calorie food.  Also, "recycle" the food gifts that you receive-bless someone else.  When all else fails, remember-"Just say NO!" ("No , thank you and God Bless!" with a smile.)

 

 

5.       COOK meals for yourself and make healthy substitutions that will not alter the taste. Make sure that there are plenty of vegetables and healthy salads included with your meals. Do you really need to put meat into vegetables?  Do you really need to cook 6 different desserts, 4 meats and does everything need gravy?  Do you really need to cook so much food?

 

6.       ALLOW yourself the room to indulge, if you truly want that peach cobbler then have it and enjoy it but remember portion control and have one serving not half of the cobbler.    Other "tricks" include just having a bite or two and then immediately throwing it away (don't save for later).  Food isn't the enemy, there are really no BAD foods it is about portion control and making choices that work for your weight loss plans. 

 

7.       Continue to weigh yourself and monitor how your clothes fit closely.  Do not allow yourself to let the holidays let the pounds slip up on you.  Let the scale and your clothes tell you what is going on with your weight.  I do not recommend asking your husband "Do I look fat?" or "Am I gaining weight?"-let's try to keep his holidays pleasant.

 

8.       Other health tips for the holidays:

 

a.       If you take prescribed medications, pack them FIRST when you are traveling. I suggest that you put them with your purse or carryon so that if luggage is lost that you will not lose your medications. 

b.      Continue to take your vitamins, calcium and other nutritional supplements.

c.       Write down the name and phone number of your physician and keep this with you at all times.  You should also have a list of your medication written down and in your purse or wallet.

d.      If you have experienced a loss of a loved one and know that this holiday season will be hard for you, don't isolate yourself.  Surround yourself with good friends and family and as always be in prayer, the Holy Spirit will comfort and keep you.  Do not focus on the fact that your loved one is gone, rather focus on the good times that you shared and their life lived.