Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Tips to Avoid Holiday Overeating

posted by Linda Mintle

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, food abounds–delightful treats, tempting sweets, beautifully arranged food baskets, and the always-welcomed gourmet chocolates that are to die for. It’s enough to send even the most controlled eater into an eating frenzy!

But of course this sumptuous time of year comes with a price—those extra pounds that we all dread and fear. The big question is, “Can I get through the holiday eating season without putting on the 5-10 pounds everyone talks about?”

Forget the dream of a white Christmas, I’m hoping for a light Christmas!

Good news (beside the birth of Christ)! Most people don’t gain all that extra weight. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health conducted a study that found most people tend to gain about 1.05 pounds during the holiday eating season. Now don’t start diving into the fruitcake just yet because there is more to this wonderful story.

Even though the gain is less than imagined, the weight is harder to lose. In part this is because we are less active during this time of year. Over time, that extra pound here and there contributes to a steady weight gain. And, if you are someone who is overweight (half of Americans), the weight gain is usually worse than the predicted pound.

So what does all this suggest? Pace yourself! You simply can’t give in to all the goodies that pass your office desk. Take a piece of the delicious stuff and move on. Stay active with exercise during this time and try these pound saving tips!

  • Don’t go hungry to party events. Drink a glass of water or eat a small piece of fruit before you go. A ravenous appetite makes it hard to resist the seductive presentation of holiday foods.
  • Find the vegetable tray and stay close to it. If you feel the urge to nibble, hang out next to the low cal options and nibble away!
  • Bring a low cal food item to an event. If you bring something you like that is low cal, you know there will be something healthy to choose from among all the items.
  • Focus on the people at the event and not the food. Try to mingle and involve yourself in conversation versus isolating yourself at the food tables.
  • Try not to eat because you feel uncomfortable or anxious. Food events are social events and people eat to decrease anxiety. Prepare a strategy ahead of time, “If I begin to feel anxious or uncomfortable, I will…”
  • If you overdo it, don’t get crazy. Just regroup after the event and cut back at the next few meals. Too many people say, “Oh I really blew it so I might as well continue to eat.” That’s the wrong approach. Instead say, “OK I blew it but I can get back in control and cut back on the next few meals.”

Read more: Do You Know the Difference Between Physical Hunger and Emotional Eating?

For more help with mindless and emotional eating, click on the tab on the right More Books by Dr. Linda and order your copy of Press Pause Before You Eat.

9 Benefits of Being Grateful

posted by Linda Mintle

 

On this Thanksgiving day, we pay special attention to giving thanks. So as you take a moment and talk about the things for which you are grateful, keep in mind the benefits that come with a thankful heart.

Grateful people…

  • have more energy and optimism
  • are less bothered by life’s hassles
  • are more resilient in the face of stress
  • are healthier
  • suffer less depression than the rest of us
  • are more compassionate
  • are more likely to help others
  • are less materialistic
  • are more satisfied with life.

6 Tips to Prevent Exhausted and Overactive Kids During the Holidays

posted by Linda Mintle

Here is a great question from a parent who wants help with young kids during the holiday season:

Q: Every holiday season, we travel to see relatives, eat too many sweets and are exhausted because the kids miss naps and get to bed late. Consequently, our toddlers behave badly during this time of year. It seems like all we do is discipline them. What can we do to help our two little ones with their behavior during this hectic time?

A: You’ve already pointed out the problem—disruption of routine, poor nutrition and sleep. Add the hype of the holidays and you have over-stimulated, sugar crazed, sleepless kids who will act out more than usual. But with a little prevention, you can minimize their inappropriate behavior.

Here is how: 1) Routines and rituals: Try to keep as many going as you can. Even when you travel, insist on a regular bedtime. Take their favorite toy, stuffed animal or blanket for reassurance and familiarity. I f possible, make naps a priority and plan around them. Whatever you can do to approximate their normal schedule will help.

2) Choose TV and videos carefully. Pick shows and videos that are calming and present the true meaning of the holiday.  If you can record shows, bypass commercials so that the constant barrage of toys is minimized. Limit time in front of screens and take your kids out to exercise and work off some of their excitement and energy.

3) Insist on healthy eating despite the extra snacks. Prepare meals versus grabbing fast food on the run. Allow special treats but monitor how many are consumed.

4) Inform your kids regarding activities. Tell them where you are going and what is expected in terms of their behavior. Ahead of time, discuss rewards for appropriate behavior rather than waiting to discipline for acting out.

5) Keep as many family traditions as possible as these are comforting to children.

6) Laugh as a family. The more fun and laughter in a home, the less stressed everyone will be. Notice that all of these tips focus on keeping routines, eating well and getting rest—three known ways to help a child with his or her behavior. If you provide these basics, the extra stress of the holidays will go better for all of you.

10 Tips For Healthy Holiday Travel

posted by Linda Mintle

For years, I spend 15 hours one way traveling in a car from Virginia to Michigan to be with family during Thanksgiving. I dreaded the long trip, but wouldn’t miss being with family during the holidays.

If you are like me, you may be boarding a plane, sitting in a car, train or some other form of transportation for hours on end to get to and from your destination.

Dr. Luis Navarro of the Vein Treatment Center in New York City wants you to travel in comfort. A Diplomat with the American Board of Phlebology, Dr. Navarro offers tips to avoid the risk of poor circulation and vein pain that often accompanies  long travel times.

Here are his 10 tips for optimizing the circulatory system during travel:

AVOID PROLONGED PERIODS OF SITTING AND STANDING: Walk up and down the plane/train every 1-2 hours, when possible, for 5-10 minutes

GET EXERCISE: ankle and lower leg exercises, such as ankle rotations

WEAR GRADUATED COMPRESSION STOCKING: Wear stockings, preferably knee highs with open toe, 15-25mm/hg or 20-30mm/hg

STAY HYDRATED: Double your water intake when traveling

AVOID ALCOHOL: Alcohol dehydrates so avoiding alcohol a few days before taking a long trip would be a good idea

AVOID CAFFEINE:  Avoid caffeine while traveling to help prevent poor circulation.

AVOID CROSSING YOUR LEGS. Leg crossing constricts veins and increases venous pressure.

WEAR LOOSE-FITTING CLOTHING.  Tight garments can restrict the flow of blood to and from the legs.

ELEVATE YOUR FEET.  Raise your feet 6 to 12 inches above your heart whenever possible to assist circulation.

CONSIDER DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS.  Vitamins C and E act as antioxidants, which are good for circulation.  Flavonoids, butcher’s broom, and Horse Chestnut Seed Extract (HCE50) improve venous circulation and decrease symptoms of venous disease.

Thanks Doc, now we can all relax a little and enjoy the turkey!

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