“Americans gain only about a pound during the holidays, but we don’t lose it—and the extra weight adds up.”
Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD
is a spokesperson for the
American Dietetic Association.
1. Drink Water. Some people mistake mild dehydration for hunger. Drink water or other sugar-free beverages when you’re thirsty and with meals.
2. Find healthy substitutions for the treats you crave. Want Crunch? Munch raw vegetables. Sweet? Enjoy fruit-flavored low-fat yogurt, fresh fruit or sugar-free chewing gum. Salty? Have a pickle.
3. Choose “great grains.” Filling up on fiber-rich whole grains keeps hunger pangs away. Aim for 3 daily servings: a slice of whole-grain bread, a half-cup of brown rice and a cup of bran cereal, for example.
4. Eat high-protein foods. Protein supplies long-lasting energy. Get 2-3 servings per day: 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter, one egg and a piece of fish or poultry about the size of a deck of cards.
5. Get active! Thirty minutes of walking or yard work 5 times a week helps your body burn calories efficiently and releases feel-good endorphins that can prevent stress-inspired shacking.
6. Get at least seven hours’ sleep. Last year researchers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center found that nurses who got less than 6 hours of sleep per night had a higher body mass index. They believe sleep may disrupt a hormone, leptin, that helps regulate hunger and satiety.
Source: Christine Gerbstadt, M.D., R.D., EatWell., Diabetes Talk, Winter 2010, Page 16.