by Julia Scalise, DN, PhD
Tis the season for feasting.
Holidays are notorious for contributing to weight gain. I can just imagine the looks of frustration, angst, disappointment, or defeat that faces are expressing, as they assess the damage from Thanksgiving celebrations, when they step on the scale this morning. If it were just one day of calorie cramming, the ongoing accumulation of weight might not be as pronounced. However, annually, many add a few pounds every holiday season and never seem to lose those excesses from a 2nd helping of stuffing or more than one sweet treat. Most of the weight gain occurs though not just from one day of splurging but the ongoing 6 weeks of continuing to eat the calorie-packed delicacies of the season.
In today’s world, access to nutritionally deficient, calorie laden snacks are available on a daily basis. In times past, such food extravagances or luxuries were more often than not TRULY A SEASONAL, ONE DAY TREAT. Hence the special baked items or candies that only appear at this time of year and represent holiday tradition in various cultures.
Water to the rescue.
A way to circumvent the temptations may be a little easier than you expected. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, M.D. wrote a book titled “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty”. Many people don’t understand how water can alleviate many health related issues. From aches and pains of dehydrated joints, to wrinkles and sagging of dehydrated skin, to loss of energy and focus, an underlying cause can just be lack of proper hydration. But did you know that appetite is also dramatically affected by lack of sufficient water?
The rule of thumb is to consume, in ounces, your body weight divided by 2.2. (I divide by 2 just to make the math easier). Start your day off with a glass (8-10 oz.) of room temperature or warm water. If you have no allergies or sensitivities (a topic I will discuss in the future) to lemons, add a little lemon to the water. Replace your usual beverage of choice through the day with more water. If visual motivation to drink more water helps, consider designating a fancy glass or festive goblet to make it more appealing to you. In the morning, drink plain good quality water. However for meals, you may consider a sparkling mineral water.
As you improve hydration, decrease aches and pains, get more energy and focus for other activities (i.e. exercise motivation), and decrease your appetite to assist in avoiding temptations of all the cakes, cookies, pastries, candies that will cross your path, doing this one simple thing can assist in circumventing your chances for holiday weight gain. If you maintain the intake of sufficient water (not just other fluids) for your weight throughout the year, weight management in general will be easier. And just think how good it will feel when tis the season to once again shed layers of clothing and you not only feel better physically, but mentally feel better and more confident about how you look.
For additional beneficial, easy tips to improve your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual vitality, read my book “Do One Thing – Feel Better / Live Better”.
Wishing you health and living your best life.
Image by Ben Franske, used under the GNU Free Documentation License