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Published on November 24, 2015

UHS Stay Healthy: Holidays don’t have to mean weight gain

Holiday weight gain and New Year’s resolutions to lose weight are two common themes during the months of November, December and January. Experts at the UHS Stay Healthy Center at the Oakdale Mall have some ideas about how you can avoid packing on the pounds - and how you can make your weight-management resolution stick after Jan. 1.

“The arrival of holiday time doesn’t have to mean weight gain, or anxiety about it,” Karen Bayer, RN, director of Community Health at UHS and of UHS Stay Healthy, recently told pressconnects.com. “There are a number of ways you can build in tricks, habits and controls that will help you stay on course with balanced nutrition and physical fitness.”

A few of these are:

  • Start off your day with a healthy fruit shake, supplemented with protein, such as whey. Make a big deal of your shake by pouring it into a martini glass and adding a cocktail umbrella. That will make it seem more like a real treat. Avoid too much alcohol at this time of year, especially spiked eggnog, which has plenty of calories.
  • Choose only one type of dessert to indulge in. The holidays are a time when desserts, from pies to cookies to boxes of candy - are all too plentiful. Work on limiting yourself to only one dessert item or confection after dinner.
  • If you’re the cook, recognize that snacking while cooking is a huge temptation. Before you know it, you’ll have eaten a whole meal! Instead, try chewing gum while you’re in the kitchen. Your mouth will be occupied and there will be flavor to go with it.
  • •Around the holidays, it’s always easy to make excuses for avoiding your workout: You have too much shopping to do, it’s crunch-time at work or you’ve got all those Christmas cards to send out. So if you find yourself skipping your regular workout routine, don’t be entirely sedentary. Take a walk, choose the stairs instead of the elevator or go outdoors and build a snowman. That way, you’ll still be burning some calories.

Now, when it comes to losing or maintaining weight by staying with a diet or exercise routine in the New Year, UHS Stay Healthy can be an important part of your support network. That’s because the center provides a free Adult Wellness Program. It isn’t a structured weight management program, but rather an enlightenment and informational program. Each month features a different topic and guest speaker.

For example, a recent presentation by Cornell Cooperative Extension, just in time for Thanksgiving, focused on nutrition facts, labels and recipe modifications. Cornell chefs did a cooking demonstration, using the skills presented at the seminar.

Each Adult Wellness Program class, held right at Stay Healthy inside the mall near the Sears entrance, includes a giveaway and a prize drawing. Seating is limited, and advance registration is required. To learn more or sign up for a future presentation, call Stay Healthy at 763-5092.