HealthFix: Holiday Weight Loss Secrets Everyone Can Use

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Traditionally, the holiday season is full of rich, buttery comfort food shared with family and friends. Although everyone deserves a little break from his or her regular diets, it doesn’t mean binging on holiday favorites is the best idea. Holiday weight gain is common, but it can be minimized or avoided if you consider a few tips during the season.

Holiday Weight Loss Tips

  1. Pace yourself: When eating a meal with your family or enjoying appetizers at a party, slow down and eat consciously. Try not to race through the food on your plate. Instead, chew slowly and enjoy the conversation around you. You’ll be more aware when you’re feeling full.
  1. Limit your indulgences but don’t eliminate them all together: Sweet and savory treats during the holidays are abundant and almost inevitable, and that’s okay. You don’t have to completely eliminate desserts and other treats during the holidays but be selective and limit your portions. You’ll find that even a small bite can satisfy your sweet tooth, which may help stop a dessert binge later on.
  1. Drink more water: Water is essential for healthy body functions, including metabolism. Dehydration negatively affects your muscle tone and ability and slows the fat-burning process and digestion. Also, try to stay away from liquid calories.
    - While drinking more water is important, drinking water or other liquids with a meal may impair your digestion. Try the dry meals method. Refrain from drinking liquids with any meal until about 45 minutes afterward. This will give your digestive system enough time to do its job.
  1. Get eight hours of sleep: Studies show that lack of sleep can cause hormonal changes, which can then lead to craving more calories per day. Although the holiday season is busy, don’t compromise your nighttime rest.
  1. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day and log your exercise and weight. If you can’t possibly fit a longer exercise into your routine, try to split it up into shorter chunks of time. Also, mix aerobic activity with strength training for a complete exercise.

If you do not reach all of your daily goals, don’t stress! Small accomplishments in weight loss and health improvement are just as important as bigger ones.

Walter Medlin, M.D.
Salt Lake Regional Medical Center
www.saltlakeregional.com

High calorie plate:

  • 1/10 of a cheeseball and 10 ritz crackers – 469 calories
  • Beef meatballs w/sauce (5) – 405 calories
  • 3 fried mozarella sticks – 240 calories
  • ½ cup candied yams – 210 calories
  • 1 slice cheesecake – 480 calories
  • 3 pieces of homemade fudge – 210 calories
  • 1 4 oz glass of red wine – 100 calories
  • 1 8 oz glass of nonalcoholic egg nog – 340 calories
  • 1 16 oz peppermint mocha latte – 410 calories

Low calorie plate:

  • 8 cheese cubes (variety of pepperjack, swiss, mozarella, cheddar)  and 8 triscuits – 290 calories
  • 3 Turkey meatballs w/out sauce – 126 calories
  • 2 T low calorie veggies dip w/carrots, cucumbers, peppers – 150 calories
  • Small Spinach salad w/walnuts, feta, apple, cranberries and citrus vinigarette (1 T)-130 calories
  • 3 Cheesecake bites – 234 calories
  • 1 piece homemade fudge – 70 calories
  • 1 8oz glass of no sugar added cranberry lime spritzer – 80 calories
  • 1 8 oz glass of low calorie egg nog – 130 calories
  • 16 oz Skinny peppermint mocha latte – 130 calories