Here’s Your Holiday Weight Maintenance Survival Guide

    Chances are you’ve got a few calorie-heavy events on your work schedule, whether it is a company holiday party, office cookie exchange or lunchtime potluck. So how do you balance those tasty treats with a healthy lifestyle?

    MedicalWeightLossThat’s where we asked Medical Weight Loss Clinic for some help. Medical Weight Loss Clinic (MWLC), headquartered in Southfield, is one of the largest established medically supervised weight loss programs in the United States. It has grown to more than 30 corporately-owned clinics throughout Michigan and across northern Ohio. Since its inception in 1986, MWLC has helped individuals gain control over their weight and their lives. In 2013 alone, MWLC clients lost in excess of two million pounds.

    By the way, if your office is looking for help to stay on track in 2015 with weight and health issues, MWLC is offering a new complimentary corporate wellness program. MWLC offers up to four complimentary “lunch and learn” presentations annually for staff members on popular topics such as “Fats 101,” “How people gain weight” and “Portion sizes.”  Additionally, for those businesses interested, MWLC will help facilitate a friendly weight-loss competition to help motivate participants and encourage results.

    Also, it recently was added as an official Worksite Wellness Provider on the Michigan Healthy Worksite Environment Platform, a no-cost online resource available to all Michigan employers interested in improving the health of their workforce.  The platform contains tools and resources to improve worksite infrastructures to support health, physical activity, healthy eating and a tobacco-free lifestyle.

    The good doctorHere’s what Dr. Meryl Held of Medical Weight Loss Clinic has to say about the holidays (She knows! She’s a board-certified internal medicine physician and MWLC’s medical director.)

    1. Don’t skip meals. Some people think that if you have a social event or a decadent meal planned, it is best to cut calories during the day by skipping meals prior to the event.  What actually happens is that people tend to get so hungry that they actually end up overeating. Instead of skipping meals, focus on small light meals that incorporate lean proteins to keep you full with those healthy veggies too.

    2. Offer to bring a dish. When you get to an event, it is always a good idea to fill up mostly on the healthy and lighter options FIRST.  To ensure you can do this, offer to bring in a side dish.  The best side dishes to bring are those that are nutritionally complete enough to feature as a vegetarian entrée, such as Lentil salad or Quinoa and roasted veggies.

    3. Stay hydrated. Drink water or seltzer with lime. Dehydration will make you think you are hungry before you realize you are thirsty. This makes you much more likely to reach for a snack. When holiday time approaches, use that time to start focusing on your 6 to 8 glasses of water. If you are drinking wine or other alcohol consider rotating the alcohol with water or adding seltzer to create a spritzer.  This will keep your empty alcohol calories down and it will also help prevent you from getting tipsy.  Once you get that buzz, you are much more likely to overindulge with snacking.

    4. Practice mindful eating. Mindful eating is being aware that what you consume is your choice.  You can enjoy a few treats over the holiday, just be aware that you are doing it. Each appetizer is about 60 to 100 calories per piece. So three to five apps is easily 300 extra calories to your meal. Pick what you want to eat. Step away from the buffet.

    5. Think about your lifestyle. Holidays are stressful!  It is important to focus on taking care of yourself and your body during these holidays.  Get to bed and get some sleep.  Sleep deprivation will increase stress hormones that make you eat more and gain more weight. Take the opportunities when you can to add some fresh air.  Perhaps start a new family tradition to take a walk together thru the neighborhood. Sometimes it just takes one person to initiate and motivate the entire group.