Weatherford Democrat

December 15, 2013

EXTENSION NEWS: Maintain, don’t gain, over holidays


Weatherford Democrat

— By KATHY SMITH

Many of you may have lost weight during this year or you may not. Often during the holidays it is a challenge to make sure you maintain and not gain.

It is not easy to lose weight and especially keep the weight off. Experts continue to examine why that is. Some cite a lack of emphasis on maintenance in weight-loss programs; others believe biology plays a stronger role, blaming significant changes in metabolism during and after weight loss. Those changes make it often a constant battle to not regain what you lost.

Despite the challenges, there is hope. Here are some ideas that could help you attain your no weight gain goal during this month:

• Plan and know what you are planning to encounter. There may be a lot of temptations to indulge in, especially treats. Try to counter these temptations by keeping positive reminders of the results you have had and resist the urge. For example, post pictures of the new you on the refrigerator, at your desk, inside your pantry.

• Know your temptations and what can trigger the urge to indulge. Sometimes it may be specific times of the day that you have trouble resisting snack foods such as fudge, and dips. If you have difficulty when you are home alone, ask someone to call you or text you each night for the next few weeks with a reminder to stay on course. Support can go a long way.

• Think about tactics you have used in the past and renew those efforts: Keep celery and carrots in the refrigerator to fill up on before you go to a party.

Brush your teeth after every meal. Park the farthest from the office or shopping center to add steps to your day. Think about what works for you and make the decision to do it.

• Be vigilant about sticking with your regular routine; eating a healthy breakfast, drinking plenty of water, getting a good night sleep and doing some type of physical activity every day. Keep yourself accountable by keeping a daily record.

• Give yourself permission to enjoy the foods of the holiday season, but do it in moderation. It is okay to eat and savor a few bits of your favorite treats, but realize you don’t need to eat the whole portion. Also, look for ways that you can treat yourself that doesn’t include food, such as a class of yoga, walking or enjoying looking at Christmas decorations and lights. The rewards are great and you will begin the New Year on track rather than having to get back on track.