The holidays are here! What a great season! We each have much to be thankful for, and it is always a blessing to give gifts and host friends and family members for memorable and fun feasts and gatherings!
Unfortunately, the holidays typically involve less than ideal foods. If not careful, we can easily gain 5-10 pounds of unwanted weight gain between October 31st and January 1st! It is simply a difficult time to control food choices and portion sizes. It seems everyone is feasting, and they want us to join them! The temptation can be hard to resist.
However, I’ve seen countless patients stay in control during the holidays. They have not only prevented unwanted weight gain, they have actually lost significant weight. Let’s look at seven of their most successful holiday strategies.
Strategy #1: Eat a protein-rich breakfast daily.
A protein-rich breakfast supports a lower body weight. The protein triggers an increased metabolism rate (unlike typical American breakfasts of sugar-laden coffees, juice, a bagel, or cereals, which are carbohydrate based). And, a protein-based breakfast lowers the appetite later in the day, preventing evening overeating. Consider our convenient meal replacements, such as a ready to drink Chocolate Dream Shake and our instant Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal (just add hot water).
Strategy #2: Get 7 ½ hours of sleep every night.
Sleeping 7 ½ hours increases the metabolism rate and reduces food cravings… it really works!!!
Strategy #3: Stay hydrated with metabolism-boosting beverages.
Mild dehydration can feel like hunger, triggering the eating of unhealthy snacks. Mild dehydration will also slow the metabolism. Ice-cold water, coffee (3-5 cups per day) and tea actually SPEED UP the metabolism!
Strategy #4: Commit to fitness time daily, walking works great!
Make 9 minutes your minimum daily goal since 9+ minutes of fitness time daily postpones the age of death by 6.2 years on average. Brisk walking is a great option!
Note: Kansas ranks 42nd out of 50 states for lowest average fitness time, so let’s do our part to improve our ranking!
Strategy #5: Eat healthy snacks.
Meal replacements are ideal snacks. They are tasty, and nutritious! Keep your favorite Tague Nutrition bar at your desk, in your car, and in your pantry so they are always available.
Strategy #6: Fight fatigue and weight gain with Energy Plus.
I custom designed the Energy Plus formula to support energy levels and a healthy metabolism. Energy Plus is one of our most popular supplements, because it works!
Strategy #7: Red Wine.
Drinking small amounts of red wine (2-5 oz) can lower heart attack risk 35%. Red wine does not cause a “beer belly” like other forms of alcohol. But limit amounts (1 glass for women, 1-2 for men).
The holidays don’t have to mean weight gain. If your routine is healthy, the occasional higher calorie “feast” meals will have minimal, if any, effect on your weight. Use the above strategies to safeguard yourself. Embrace healthy habits through the holidays, it works!
And remember, Optimum Health is ALWAYS worth the effort.
Blessings of health to you this holiday season!
Rick Tague, M.D., M.P.H. & T.M.