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Stay Slim Thru the Holidays

18 Ways to Stay Slim Thru the Holidays

Posted: November 16, 2011
By: Dr Derek Friedman

Here's a post I copied off the internet which for the most part follows along with my philosophy on staying slim and healthy thru the holidays.  It more or less sums up what I just posted.  Again, there are a few tweeks I'd make, but overall this is a good outline to follow.

Here’s a quick 18 tips on staying slim for the season I got off the internet.  I cut out number 2 because it was flat out wrong and contradicted what I had to say!!

18 Ways to Stay Slim at Christmas 

“The good news is that the “holiday 10″ that is frequently touted is a myth – in reality most Americans actually gain around a pound,” says Dr Kulze. “The bad news is that studies show the weight gained over the winter holidays isn’t lost during the rest of the year. Over time, this yearly pound creep can have a devastating impact on your health, as even 5 pounds of weight gain can increase your risk of a number of chronic diseases including high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.”

1. Stay away from foods that rev up your appetite.  The “Great White Hazards” are flour products, rice, sugar and white potatoes.  Holidays are already a dietary pitfall for most – these foods add insult to injury. Stay slim at Christmas by staying away from grain based foods.

3. Minimize your liquid calories!Liquid calories (soda, fruit drinks, fruit juices, caloric mixers and other sweet drinks) tend to be very fattening in two ways: 1) Liquid sugars illicit rapid surges of blood glucose and insulin that perpetuate appetite and put the body in fat storage mode; and 2) Liquid calories provide no bulk in the GI tract. Physical bulk in the GI tract is a powerful appetite suppressant.

4. Drink water or unsweetened tea. When you choose to have “a drink,” make wine, light or low-carb beer or spirits with a non-caloric mixer your first choice. This is an easy way to stay slim at Christmas nd stick to your weight loss goals – you’ll barely notice that you’re sacrificing!

5. Be sure to have some protein at each meal.Protein is nature’s diet pill. The digestion of protein gives rise to a steady more prolonged blood glucose level which translates to less hunger and more energy! The healthiest proteins are fish, shellfish, poultry, wild game, omega 3 eggs, nuts/seeds and dairy products. 

 6. Fill up first on foods that have lots of bulkbut minimal calories, ie. the “big, yet skinny” fruits and veggies. Physical bulk (stuff) in the GI tract provides great appetite suppression, which can be an easy way to stay slim at Christmas and stick to your holiday weight loss goals. 

7. Go for the veggies & fruit.At a holiday cocktail party, go straight to the fruit and veggie platter first and really indulge; use dips sparingly.  If available, make bean dips (hummus) your first choice. Fill two thirds of your plate with fruits, veggies and beans before serving the rest of your meal. To achieve your holiday weight loss goals, eat a big tossed salad or a couple of servings of a veggie side dish before the rest of the meal.

8. Don’t let yourself get hungry!It takes fewer calories to prevent hunger than it does to deal with it once it occurs. Always consume three meals a day with between meal snacks as necessary to keep your hunger at bay. Withholding food for several hours or more leads to low blood sugar (excessive hunger), slows down your metabolism and primes the pancreas to release extra fat-storing insulin when you finally eat. Additionally, true hunger elicits a primal fear and anxiety response that sets you up for dietary indiscretions.

9. Have a snack an hour before you arrive at a holiday gathering. Dr Ann’s top pick would be a small handful of nuts along with a piece of fruit (apple) or fresh raw veggies (handful of carrots) dipped in hummus. This is not only an easy way to stick to your holiday weight loss goals – it’ll keep you really healthy, too.

10. Make exercise a priority!It’s a fantastic safeguard against weight gain and helps compensate for holiday indulgences. Exercise not only helps you stick to your holiday weight loss goals, it’s also the perfect tonic for the stress and anxiety we all experience during the holiday season (many people binge when stressed).

11. Take a “family walk” after your holiday feast.If you’re not into walking, consider signing up for a holiday road race, scheduling a regular work-out with a trainer, recruiting a holiday walking buddy, incorporating walking into your holiday shopping, and wear comfortable shoes. Don’t forget house-cleaning and yardwork count as exercise too!

12. Satisfy your sweet tooth.Fresh fruit salad, a piece of high quality dark chocolate, or cups of “real” hot cocoa are delicious and nutritious. If you prefer other goodies, be mindful of your portions. Staying slim at Christmas doesn’t have to mean denying yourself!

13. Indulge in alcohol in moderation.Over indulgence loosens inhibitions and increases the risk of dietary indiscretion (and a number of other health risks).  To add insult to injury, too much alcohol in the evening triggers excessive morning hunger and cravings for starchy junk foods for many. And of course the calories in alcohol can really add up!

14. Minimize the effects of alcohol. Drink a full glass of water between each alcoholic beverage at parties, and always make sure there is some food in your stomach before you have a drink. Watching your alcohol intake is an effective way to stay slim at Christmas.

15. Learn to say no.Don’t feel obligated to attend every party either – choose your holiday parties wisely. This is an easy way to lose weight over the holidays because it cuts down on the potential for overindulging and too many late nights.

16. Get your beauty rest!Provocative new research reveals that sleep deprivation enhances appetite, and increases cravings for diet-sabotaging foods like sweets, chips, breads and pasta.  Late-night partying is a risk for expanding waistlines along multiple fronts! Additionally, sleep deprivation zaps energy and enthusiasm for exercise, which isn’t a great way to stay slim at Christmas.

17. Avoid mindless eating– approach every meal, every snack and every party mindfully. Don’t linger over the buffet table or hover over the hors d’oeuvres, nibbling as you engage in conversation. That’ll sabotage your holiday weight loss goals for sure.

18. Pre-plate everything(meals, hors d’oeuvres, dessert etc).  We tend to eat less if we can view it all before we start. This is an easy way to stay slim at Christmas – if you can stick to one or two plates!

Stay Slim Thru the Holidays!!

Posted: November 16, 2011
By: Dr Derek Friedman

Stay Slim Thru the Holidays

Hello and welcome!!  It couldn’t be a worse time of year to start a diet, get slim or to try and stay slim, it’s holiday time!  We all want to be able to eat what we want and not gain wt.  Now, some can, good for them, but for the majority of us, we have a difficult time not packing on the pounds during this time of year.

It all starts with Halloween and all the candy, then it goes into Thanksgiving, the greatest most gluttonous holiday ever invented, and goes right into Christmas and all the Christmas parties and then New Year’s and then, what’s the last unofficial holiday at the end of Jan, beginning of Feb?  That’s right, the Super Bowl!  And that doesn’t even include all of the football playoffs and college bowl games.

It’s a wonder how we are not all obese, actually if you look at the numbers for the country, we’re pretty close or at least getting closer.

My job tonight is to help you get and stay healthy and slim while educating you all on how to navigate the holiday season with the least amount of damage to your body and self esteem!!

So where do we start, what can we do to be able to go to the parties and stay in control?  Well, it’s easy, just don’t go!!  Stay home and eat baked fish and plain broccoli!!  Just kidding, kind of.

The first thing you’ll want to do, is to eat healthy before you go.  Healthy means a lot of different things to people, so let me give you a proper definition or example of a healthy meal.  Vegetables, protein and some fruit!!  Simple as that!  If you start adding in any processed foods, any bread, pasta, rice, cereal, cakes, candies and cookies or any high starch foods like white potatoes, it’s not healthy!!  So, dinner for example could be a grilled steak, sautéed green beans and roasted peppers and some berries for dessert!  This is a healthy meal, all real food.

If you are going to eat dinner at the party, you need to make wise food choices.  For the appetizers, eat the vegetables, or if they have a protein based selection eat that.  Just avoid the bread and grain based foods.

Are you getting the whole theme here, eat low carb!  It really is simple.  Just eat low carb!!

I know, you want the bad food.  I agree, I want it too!  But life is about choice, and if you choose to eat poorly, you choose obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Now some people say “everything in moderation” and for some people it works.  But for those of us who are very sensitive to carbs and sugar, there is no moderation, there’s only all or none.  In my house, an open bag of Doritos is an empty bag!!  Or of any bad food, so I have to plan my cheating, which leads me to my next point.

Feel free to indulge on occasion!  If you have a party you are really looking forward to, then plan on eating bad.  For me, it’s Thanksgiving.  We have a bunch of people over to my dad’s house, somewhere in the 40 – 50 range, I cook, because I’m funny in that I like my food to taste good, and if I’m cooking, it’s going to be good, and I’ll eat myself into oblivion.  I’ll deep fry 2 turkeys and a duck, which is for me. I’ll make upwards of 10lbs of garlic and parmesan mashed and around 5lbs of sausage stuffing.  Then, the best part is that I get my own pie.  For all this work, I get my own pecan pie, which I’ll eat over the weekend. 

Speaking of overeating, let’s talk booze!!  Booze leads to poor choices!!  Not just food choices, but poor choices overall.  But this is about food.  Booze, number one will turn right to fat!  Plus as we all know, booze will lower our inhibitions and then it’s game on!!  Look out dessert table!!

Keep your booze at bay and you’ll keep the weight off.  If you are going to booze a bit, be sure to eat first, your body will absorb it slower and it’ll have less of an affect on your decision making abilities!!

OK, so I’ve taken away sweets and booze!!  Let’s see what other pleasures I can take away now!!  Just kidding, allow me to teach you some tricks of the trade.

If you are going to eat sugar and desserts, eat fiber first.  This will slow you production of insulin, which we all know makes us fat.  Keeping your insulin under control and reasonably low is one of the keys to a long and healthy life with lower insurance premiums, less medication and less trips to the doctor!!

Plus the fiber will fill you up so you won’t be able to eat as much junk as you would have other wise.

This goes for fat as well.  Fat will suppress an insulin spike.  Do we all know what I mean by an insulin spike?  It’s when you eat carbs and your body produces a large surge of insulin which will take all the sugar out of your blood and store it as fat and make you hypoglycemic, low blood sugar, which will give you fatigue and listlessness, brain fog and for some people, headaches and then you’ll crave sugar due to the low blood sugar.  Either way, both fiber and fat will help prevent this.

This will also help with the affects of booze as well.  It’ll decrease the absorption rate, which is why you feel the effects of booze more on an empty stomach.

Again, I’m not telling you not to cheat as you see fit, but to try and help you make better choices when you do go and to cheat with the foods you really love.

So go out and enjoy your holidays and parties, and after New Year's when you want to drop those excess pounds that you've accumulated all year, just set an appointment and we'll get those ugly  and unhealthy pounds off you in no time!!

Happy Holidays Everyone!!