Weight Gains During These Holidays, It Will Happen To You
Weight gains during these Holidays, starting on Thanksgiving and going through New Year’s Day is inevitable. It will happen to you and you and I know it. But, how do I know, I’ve never met you. I know because it’s happened to both of us every year we can remember.
But this year will be different and better, because we’re older, wiser, and have a few strategies we can use to keep our weight gain to a minimum.
The average weight gain for Americans during this Holiday season is two pounds. On the face of it, that’s pretty good and relatively easy to lose come January. This might be true if we were in our twenties or thirties; however at our age, losing that weight can be a big job.
Weight Gains: Why Seniors Struggle To Lose The Weight
It’s tough to lose the pounds if a good part of your meals are heavy on carbohydrates. Not all carbs are bad for us. For example, simple carbs, such as candy, soda and sugar — are digested quickly and send immediate bursts of glucose into the bloodstream. That’s bad for us, as it raise insulin levels and can trigger hunger pangs once the insulin levels come back down.
Complex carbs, on the other hand, are found in starchy vegetables and whole grains, and are digested more slowly. While it’s easy to incorporate complex carbs into our diet during the year, it’s not happening during the Holidays.
The bulk of the carbs on Thanksgiving table are white rolls, stuffing, and a host of other foods that are loaded with sugar, oil and salt. This can cause a rapid rise and fall of blood sugar levels and actually cause us to overeat.
Weight Gains: Eat Smart And Still Be Happy
Here are some strategies you can use to keep your weight gain to a minimum:
Eat a high-protein breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. A stack of research shows that doing so can help control cravings throughout the day and reduce overeating later. Focus on eating at least 15 to 25 grams of high-quality protein.
You can easily get that in a three-egg omelet with vegetables, fresh fruit and some nuts.
Pick A Strategy, Stick With It
Fill your plate with vegetables and salad before moving on to the entrees and desserts. Choose small amounts and no second helpings.
And, go easy on your favorite foods. For instance: Serve whole-wheat rolls instead of white. Use whole-grain or sprouted bread in place of white in your favorite stuffing recipe. Skip mashed potatoes (yes, really) and serve mashed cauliflower instead. And instead of sweet potato casserole, try roasted sweet potatoes topped with pecans, nutmeg, cinnamon and a little maple syrup.
As for desserts, if you’re baking your own, know that you can eliminate 30 to 50 percent of the sugar without needing to add anything in its place. That’s amazing, right!
Another thing to do is — get back on your diet the day after Thanksgiving. Turkey or chicken, vegetables, and carbs if you really need it. And remember, eat only a small carbohydrate portion. Research suggests that eating carbs last can help eliminate post-meal blood sugar spikes that makes you want to eat more.
And, here’s a motivator for you. Get on the scale every single day. A recent study reported that overweight participants who did daily weigh-ins prevented additional weight gain between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.