Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Don't let the holidays tip your scale!
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and you know what that means: food, food, a little post-meal T.V., and more food! According to one classic study, the average person gains one pound each year, usually beginning around the Thanksgiving holiday (eh-ehm). Although a one-pound weight gain doesn’t sound like much, most people don’t lose this extra weight and it contributes to obesity later in life. But, if you are trying to stay on track to reach your weight loss goals and hoping to enjoy some of your family’s holiday traditions, take heart! There are ways to celebrate and lose weight!
The findings of one study suggest that portion control is the single-most important thing you can do to lose weight! Researchers followed 300 overweight or obese adults who were beginning a weight loss program. Study participants followed one of five different weight loss programs: eating more fruits & vegetables, increasing planned exercise, increasing daily physical activity, cutting back on fat, or actively controlling portion sizes. Study participants in the portion control group were most successful and 38% of people in that group lost at least 5% of their body weight! This is a big contrast to people in the other weight loss groups, many of whom gained several pounds. So, you can enjoy delicious foods, as long as you are practicing portion control!
In the classic National Institute of Health study mentioned above, researchers also found that people who reported being more active didn’t gain any weight over the holiday season, and some even lost weight! Try planning some activities that will get you and your family up and moving over the holidays. Plan family walks, bike rides, basketball games, or toss the Frisbee around. You will burn calories and stay on track to reach your weight loss goals!
The bottom line: enjoy your holiday favorites but only in moderation and work towards increasing your exercise. The holidays are a “high-risk” time for weight loss but you can be successful, even in this season of temptation!