Health

Don’t Even Think About This During the Holidays

Weight loss in December? Nah ... but take these smart steps to stay healthy.

We tend to try quick-fix solutions for weight loss at this time of year — if we try any of that at all.

Nutritionally, we know the “right” things to do, and the right foods to eat. But we’re human.

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This Christmas season, let’s have fun, celebrate and enjoy ourselves while keeping these five tips in mind to avoid further weight gain:

1.) Holidays are for rejoicing — but eat as healthfully as possible. 
Holiday eating means the occasional indulgence that reminds us we’re here to partake of the bliss of life. So, restriction and denial are the worst possible emotions we could exercise at this special time. Eating healthy is for every day — not for a holiday.

2.) Eat foods that are healthy for your cells.
Fresh food is better than processed food. Processed means: deep-fried, preserved, packaged, smoked, roasted, sweetened, colored, juiced, fattened, de-fattened, alkalinized, acidified — anything that changes our food’s original structure. Processed foods can lead to cancers, diabetes, and heart disease, and lower our immune system. Overall, reduce how much of it you’re eating.

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3.) Eat smaller portions.
Most of us have been overfed since we were kids. Overeating causes bloating, abdominal cramps, burping, flatulence, and a foggy mind. It is also a vicious cycle of stretching your stomach so that next time, you need more food to feel full. Portion control is critical when it comes to maintaining your weight — let alone weight loss.

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4.) Don’t forget to eat!
Many overweight patients confide that they skip breakfast. Many people, sadly, don’t eat all day long. This sends the wrong message to your cells, and gets them used to living in a starvation mode, where they are holding onto everything when you do finally eat. They then store it away as fat. Understand your physiology — get smart, eat smart, and never skip a meal.

5.) Eat without distraction.
Most of us are so pressed for time we wind up eating in front of the computer, TV, iPad, cellphone, or worse yet — a video game or a movie. We conveniently refer to this as multitasking. But eating your food mindfully, without any of these distractions, is the only way for your brain to truly register that you have eaten. It’s also the only way to chew your food properly, avoid indigestion, and avoid a host of other gastrointestinal issues.

Related: 9 Foods to Help Prevent Memory Loss

Weight loss tips are great, but they often remain a beautiful theory. It is through endless repetition that you have learned to wash your hands and brush your teeth when you were a child. And it is through tireless encouragement and practice that you learn to be a healthy eater — no matter the season.

Svetlana Kogan, M.D., practices holistic and integrative medicine at her clinic in New York City, and is the author of “Diet Slave No More!”

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