Research suggests that Americans gain an average of 0.4 to 1.8 pounds each year during their adult lives.
Most of that weight gain (0.8 lb) occurs during the interval between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
Out of factors such as stress, hunger, activity level, changes in smoking habits, or number of holiday parties attended, researchers found that only two influenced weight gain: hunger and activity.
Participants who said they were much more active or much less hungry were the least likely to gain weight over the holidays, and some even lost weight.
Those who reported being less active or hungrier had the greatest holiday weight gain.
The overweight and obese were more likely to gain five pounds than those who were not overweight, which suggests that the holiday season presents special risks for those who are already overweight.
The bad news is that weight gained over the winter holidays wasn’t lost during the rest of the year.
And just in case you are tired of talk about holiday dieting and need a laugh, here are some tips.
Tips For Gaining Weight During the Holidays
1. Have several spiked eggnogs as soon as you arrive at an event.
These are not only packed with calories, they rid you of any inhibition you may have about taking second and third helpings of anything you want.
2. Follow fatty meals with a sugary dessert. Sugar will raise your insulin levels, and push that fat directly into your fat cells where it’ll be safe.
3. Stay away from veggies. If you love the taste of dip, save it for the potato chips.
4. Remember, gravy is the fifth food group. Gravy is loaded with life-giving energy in the form of fat and should be slathered on everything.
5. Reduce your “running around town” levels. If you must walk around when shopping, stop at the food court every half-hour to refuel.
6. Never turn down a homemade cookie. If there are a variety of selections, sample one of each and then go back and enjoy more of your favorite. You make people’s day by eating their homemade treats.
If you are one of those who gained weight, weigh yourself on January 2, 2014 and vow to have your holiday weight off by Super Bowl Sunday.
Stress has become a catch-all word for most of us, but it really means something quite different to different people. It’s really about circumstances or events in our lives that give us discomfort and even disease. The secret is to walk through life more smoothly whatever that stress may be for us.
Some people feel stress as depression. It may surface more during holidays. Holidays force us to think back on many memories in our life, some pleasant and very missed and others unpleasant and forced to surface.
Managing stress is really about walking through all this with more ease. Circumstances in life don’t change quickly, but they do evolve over time. It’s about getting that ease minute by minute.
I heard someone say the pain of depression is greater than any physical pain. So this walk is not so easy sometimes. We are only given the moments between birth and death. Taking a deep breath and walking through is all we can do. Life will have its pain and yet another chapter always lies ahead. Grieve, contemplate and sit in the unknowing for as long as you need to.
In acupuncture sessions, we walk though these moments of joy and sadness together. The goal is to offer patients practices to take with them – ways of walking through the tough moments of life, when they are not in the treatment room. In acupuncture, we are fine tuning the FM station or maintaining our car before the red light comes on. It’s really about allowing patients to ride smoothly on their own.
Tips For The Holidays:
If you are lonely, call a friend, or go to a group event. Be sure you put yourself around people that lift your spirits.
If you need rest and want to be alone, take long baths, get a massage (ask for total silence), or go for a walk in the woods (daylight of course).
Get rest, it gets dark early for a reason. Get more sleep in winter. Store up your reserves for the upcoming spring.
Wear a scarf around your neck. Keep extremities warm. Wear a hat too.
Eat warm foods, make hot tea.
Be okay with the stillness and reflection that winter brings. We will notice this more after the holiday hustle and bustle ends.
Be still, and listen, great power is rumbling underneath the silence just as new seeds are under the ground rejuvenating for spring.
• Using a slow cooker, also known as a Crock-Pot, allows you to make healthy meals when you’re not at home. Just throw everything together and when you get back, your home will smell delicious and dinner will be waiting.
• Roasting is the simplest way to get great flavor without adding many calories. Vegetables can be roasted ahead of time and reheated for dinner. Serve as a side dish or add to soups, stews or chili.
• Soup can be a low-calorie, nutrient-dense meal. Make your own stock using onions, celery, carrots and bones from a rotisserie chicken. Strain and add vegetables, leftover brown rice or low-fat protein.
• Stews and chili are also warm and healthy options. They can be made in a Crock-Pot, in the oven or on the stove top. Just add a simple green salad for a complete meal.
• Nothing warms a cold home like baking. Bake whole apples for a healthy dessert, or puree and use to replace some oil in baked goods. A puree of water and prunes, or any dried fruit, such as apricots or peaches, also works well.
• While the Crock-Pot simmers, get out and play. A woman weighing 130 pounds will burn 495 calories while cross-country skiing at a moderate pace for 60 minutes. Not to mention, cross-country skiing is great for sculpting the legs.
• That same woman will burn 433 calories in 60 minutes of ice skating or an hour of snowshoeing.
• In the spirit of giving, shovel your neighbor’s driveway or rake up the fall leaves.
• Cutting your own Christmas tree creates a memorable family experience while burning calories.
• Walk through a corn maze, sign up for a turkey trot marathon, sing carols with a group and ditch the New Year’s party for a midnight walk or run.
This fall our office has worked with many more runners and other athletes utilizing Injury Recall Technique (lRT) and the Erchonia Cold Laser and to treat a variety of overuse injuries. Besides fixing the problem we have improved outcomes with faster race times and with no reoccurrence of the problem.
Medical researchers have been using low-energy lasers and these successful studies initially helped establish FDA approval and clearance in 2002 to treat neuromuscular-medical conditions. The cold laser works at a cellular level and it increases the production of ATP: the basic units of energy that we use to provide power to our cells for neuromuscular activity in our nerves, muscles, and ligaments.
When treating pre-existing medical/athletic conditions in sports, Injury recall technique also is extremely effective in healing tendonitis, tendonosis, bursitis, strains and sprains, scar tissue, joint arthropathies, and neuromuscular motor weakness. In a clinical setting, cold laser technology and injury recall technique has shown a profound capacity to quickly reduce inflammation in both acute and chronic problems, improve range of motion, engage proper proprioception and integrate a balanced locomotive process in movement.
We first perform a thorough kinesiology exam of the lower locomotive system for any soft tissue issue. The following muscles are evaluated for weakness: foot dorsi and plantar flexors, pronators and supinators, knee and hip abductors, adductors, flexors, extensors and rotators, and lumbar back extensors and flexors. We then would use the cold laser to treat any pelvic and lower extremity muscles that demonstrated a significant motor weakness contributing to this problem. The muscle strength is basically reset neurologically to proper function. We then challenge the micro movement of the joints and correct any fixations with manipulative procedures. Any signiﬁcant micro or macro trauma to the neuromuscular system in an abnormal change in the proprioception of the joint motion and ligaments and/or the stretch receptors in the muscles.
Even with focused rehabilitation after an injury, many times the soft tissue still sends abnormal information back to the central nervous system (CNS). This sets you up for reinjury as well as decreased performance in the sport. These hands on approaches works the best before any rehabilitation is conducted because the Cold Laser and IRT dramatically facilitates and balances the integration of injured nerves, muscles, ligaments and joints.
Our goal as clinicians in sports medicine is to get our athletes out of pain, improve their function, increase flexibility, strength and endurance.