Eat Well and Wisely Over the Holidays

Posted on March 16, 2011

The average American gains around five pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Five pounds may not seem much, but if they never come off, that’s 50 pounds over 10 years. Ouch.

We are becoming more overweight with each year and not coincidentally diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and many other diseases are on the rise. So what can we do?

The most important thing is to set goals. Write them down, pin them in a conspicuous place and read them frequently. But don’t say you want to lose 20 pounds in a month, because it isn’t realistic. However, five pounds is. Setting unrealistic goals only leads to discouragement.

Next is how we eat. How we eat is more important than what we eat. For instance, eating too fast almost guarantees weight gain, especially if you eat until you’re full. This occurs when we eat while watching TV, using the computer, or snacking on the run. Also, many overeat when they feel emotional, depressed or sad; some can just eat and eat and never feel full. Eating quickly promotes obesity on many levels. In particular, it increases resistance to insulin, a condition that some 60 to 70 percent of my patients have. A quick way to tell if you are leaning toward insulin resistance is if you crave sweets or feel tired after a meal. Being mindful while eating and taking smaller meals with a roughly equal protein-to-carbohydrate ratio, five times a day, will put you at a huge advantage over dieting and starvation, and will bring equally impressive yet lasting results.

We should also touch on what to eat. Or rather what not to eat. Certain foods and ingredients known to promote weight gain are hydrogenated fats, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, sodas (including diet), fast food (most), fried foods and foods high in animal fat. As a rule of thumb, steer away from processed, pre-packaged foods and lean toward whole and organic ones, with ingredients you can understand.

Just remember, you are in control of your health.

Happy holidays.


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