For many of us, the holidays also become a time for overeating and gaining weight. According to the National Institutes of Health, excessive holiday eating can make you gain a pound or two every year! Over the course of your lifetime, all those extra pounds can add up to a pretty hefty weight increase.
Not only do the holidays tend to make us chubbier, they’re also linked to an increased incidence of heart attacks.
national study, researchers at the University of California and Tufts
University found that there are 5 percent more heart-related deaths during the
holidays. And Christmas Day, December 26 and New Year's Day are the biggest
days for heart attacks.
Studies have shown a high-fat meal can harm your artery linings for hours after eating, and most of us spend the entire holiday season having fatty food. If you already have some blockage, your vessels close off even more, possibly causing a heart attack.
Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to give yourself the gift of good holiday health. By following a few simple tips, you can keep from packing on those extra pounds.
• Be realistic. Don’t try to lose pounds during the holidays. Instead, just try to maintain your current weight.
• Plan time for exercise. A moderate and daily increase in exercise can help offset increased holiday eating and relieve stress.
• Snack before the party. Before you leave, eat a light snack like raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to curb your appetite.
• Survey party buffets before filling your plate. Choose your favorite foods and skip your least favorite. Try to make 80% of your plate fruits and vegetables.
• Eat until you’re satisfied, not stuffed. Savor your favorite holiday treats while eating small portions.
• Limit fat intake. If you don’t have any choice about what you’re being served, eat smaller portions of fatty meats, rich gravies and creamy sauces and favor more fruits and veggies.
• If you overeat at one meal, go light on the next. It takes 500 calories per day above your normal consumption to gain one pound. So try to balance things out.
Attend a free monthly information session at the Weight Loss Center.
For more information, call 1.855.FIT.TBHC (1.855.348.8242).