nutrition, The Nutrition Edge

Tips to avoid weight gain and to stay alert over the holidays

Between office and personal parties and getting ahead before vacation, December can be a tough month trying to keep your weight in check and even staying alert.

Liz Erker, Signature Medical Group’s registered dietitian, has some tips to help you stay energized and efficient:

Eat energizing foods. Step away from the endless supply of sugar cookies on the snack table. Instead, fill up on complex carbs, lean proteins and heart healthy fats. And remember to eat, even if you’re busy!  Stay structured and avoid skipping meals, which can cause your blood sugar to crash. It might seem like skipping a meal after overindulging can keep the weight off, but a small, balanced meal will help you get back on track without leaving you exhausted and likely grabbing unhealthy snacks to stay awake. In addition, avoid super-sizing your lunch order. Large meals, especially those that are heavy on carbs and low in protein will likely send you to the couch for a nap.

Use caffeine early and with exercise. If you’re not a regular coffee drinker, picking up the habit temporarily could help you. To make the coffee work best, drink it fairly soon after awakening, and pair with bright light and some exercise. For example, go to local coffee joint, grab your joe, then take your dog on a brisk walk around the neighborhood as you sip your java.

Chew gum between meals. Not only does chewing sugarless gum keep you from mindlessly snacking, it could keep you more alert. The activity of chewing, such as with gum, can provide a small short-term counter to fatigue. Peppermint has been found to have some alerting qualities, so a seasonal peppermint mint or candy could also be a good mid-afternoon option when you’re feeling tired.

Drink responsibly. Clearly, hangovers don’t help you feel your best, but alcohol can also disrupt your sleep quality and quantity. In addition, when you’re already short of sleep, alcohol will unmask your fatigue more quickly. Keep that in mind — especially when driving home after a party.

If you’re looking for more nutrition advice, make an appointment today.