If you’ve successfully lost weight recently, or if you just want to maintain your weight, you know that the holidays — filled with rich food and drink — can be a challenging time. It may seem nearly impossible to resist the goodies given as gifts as well. After all, who doesn’t love a good sugar cookie, peanut brittle, or leftover pumpkin pie?
Fret no more, because we’ve got good news. You can still enjoy these treats, in moderation, and keep your current weight stable. If you’re on a weight loss journey, the holiday season doesn’t have to mean total derailment, either.
Dr. Gurprit Sekhon and the Nu Wave Medical Center team are dedicated to your wellness, no matter what season it is. The doctor counsels patients about the importance of reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, and helps them successfully get – and stay there.
How does your weight impact your health?
We know that excess weight is associated with higher risk for serious health conditions, including:
Excess weight also leads to inflammation, which is associated with colorectal, post-menopausal breast, pancreatic, and other cancers.
You can lose weight effectively with a combination of healthy eating — think whole over processed foods, plentiful fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, legumes, and healthy fats like olive oil and nuts — daily exercise, and staying the course. In other words, if you fall off the wagon for a day, get right back on and continue your weight loss efforts. A “bad” day is a blip, and it’s the overall, long-term effort that counts.
If losing weight alone feels too daunting, or if you’ve tried to shed pounds many times and they’ve returned, Dr. Sekhon offers medically assisted weight loss. This involves one-on-one counseling, crafting an eating plan that’s right for you, and advice about fitting exercise in every day. In addition to practical advice, she and the Nu Wave team are there every step of the way to encourage you as you work toward your weight loss goal.
Tips for avoiding holiday weight gain
Whether you’re actively working to lose weight or you simply don't want to gain weight as the food-focused holidays approach, there are simple steps you can take to steer clear of extra pounds, but still enjoy your holiday favorites.
1. Review your party calendar
If you can look at what days your big parties occur, you can plan to eat lightly before these events, so you’re not piling on party food calories in addition to your usual daily total. In this case, fewer calories equals less guilt.
2. Opt for food over alcohol
Wine, beer, and spirits can cause your caloric total for the day to skyrocket. Sticking to bubbly water or a wine spritzer means you can sample some party food without the regret of feeling totally out of control — and hung over the next day!
3. Sample judiciously
Portion control can come in quite handy during the holidays. For example, if there’s a big holiday lunch at your workplace or a groaning board at a family event, take small amounts of only your very favorite things. You won’t feel like you’re missing out, but you’ll also avoid feeling bloated and out of sorts afterward.
4. Stick to your routines despite a busy schedule
Eating at the same time each day, not skipping meals, and fitting exercise in all help you to remain steady and stable, even when you’re faced with temptation. If you don’t go to a party starving, you’ll be less likely to overeat.
5. Swap out how you celebrate
Try scheduling an activity with someone, like a trip to the ice skating rink or a brisk walk, instead of a visit to the bakery or indulging in a lavish meal out. You’ll still feel that you’re celebrating, but you’ll be burning rather than adding calories.
6. When you do indulge, lose the guilt
Have a conversation with yourself about the fact that your holiday favorites — from stuffing to peppermint-chocolate bark — are meant to be savored mindfully, not shunned altogether. You deserve to enjoy something yummy as much as the next person, and you can do so in a way that doesn’t leave you feeling regretful or uncomfortable because your clothing is too tight!
Not only will these habits keep your scale from tipping upward, you’ll sleep better, have more energy, and feel better about yourself.
Call our Panama City Beach Parkway office at 850-493-6948 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sekhon, or set one up online.