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Posted on 11-21-2012

How NOT to Gain Weight over the Holidays

paper_turkey.jpgExtra weight puts added pressure on the spine, which can cause pain.  A rise in body weight results in a increase in the pressure on the spine.

The extra pressure weight puts on your spine can -- over time -- cause a wearing away of disks' outer fibers, increasing your risk of an injury.

It's only common sense to think that along with controlling your risk for heart attack, diabetes, stroke and other degenerative diseases, losing weight can help you get rid of back pain.

So with that in mind, the Chiropractors here at Lake Norman Family Chiropractic would like to offer some suggestions on how to NOT gain weight over the holidays.  We want you, and your spine, to be healthy.

The average Thanksgiving meal ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 calories. For the average American, our daily intake should be between 1,600 to 2,400 calories.  It is not surprising that people complain about weight gain during the holidays. However, it isn’t the turkey that packs on the pounds, it all those lovely trimmings and extras.

The following tips may help slow down, and even prevent the seemingly inevitable weight gain that occurs during the coming months, starting with Thanksgiving:

1.    Do not skip breakfast.  
If you skip breakfast, you end up over eating later because you are so hungry.
2.    Chew Longer
Digestion starts with chewing.  You will fill up more quickly if you do not gulp down all the food in front of you.  
3.    Don’t eat the skin.
Turkey skin has much more calories than the breasts and is higher in fat.
4.    Watch out for hidden fats.
Vegetables, carrots, soups and mashed potatoes can look healthy on the surface until you look at how they were prepared.  Watch out for the additions of butter, salt and whole milk. So go easy!
5.    Use substitutions.
Find a lower fat option for some of your favorite dishes that will help them be leaner.  For instance, add cooked cauliflower to your mashed potatoes before smashing them and you will cut the calories dramatically.  Most people won’t even notice.
6.    Get physical.
Go for a walk on Thanksgiving morning or doing some other physical activity during the day.  Even if you exceed your caloric goal, the walk should counter act at least some of the calories and keep your metabolism humming.
7.     Eat what you love.
Remember that Thanksgiving comes every year and many of the foods you see on Thanksgiving will still be around during the rest of the year.  So, consider eating those foods you see only once a year.  If it is something you love and crave, eat a small portion.  If it is a food you don’t love or see often, skip it to save on the calories.  Portion control is key!
8.     Eat leftovers the next day.
If you eat two huge meals in one day your caloric intake will be through the roof!  However, if you save leftovers for the next day instead, it is easier to control your intake.
9.    Stay hydrated.
Drink water throughout the day.  Many people mistake thirst for hunger and end up eating when a glass of water would have sufficed.  Plus if you fill your stomach with water, there is less room for food and you feel fuller. Alcoholic beverages and sodas will cause dehydration and add calories.
10.     Sit down to eat.
Make it a point to sit to eat.  Many calories are eaten while standing over a table of finger foods.  It is hard to control what you eat and remember how much you have eaten if you are distracted by conversation etc…  So limit finger foods by making you a portion controlled plate and sitting down with it.
11.    Avoid Seconds.
Limit yourself to one helping.  This will insure that you pick just the foods you really want if you know you are going back. You will consume less calories as well.
12.     Don’t set yourself up for failure.
This is a festive occasion and a time to celebrate.  So allow yourself to celebrate by making the rules for yourself before all the food comes out.  If you make your rules too strict, however, and do not allow yourself some flexibility, then you could be setting yourself up for failure.  Be realistic in your goals for the day.

Happy Thanksgiving for Lake Norman Family Chiropractic.

If you have back and joint pain due to extra weight, give us a call to set up an appointment for an adjustment.  We are here to help. 704.489.CARE (2273)

*All the information is this article is not a substitution for a doctor's consult. Please consult your doctor with any health concerns.

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