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Twelve Pounds of Christmas

Lone Star Family Health Twelve Pounds of Christmas Dr. Nguyen Profile

Tis the season for joy, feasting and indulgence. While many people are focused on giving and holiday cheer, many are putting their health on pause and seeing an unwanted increase on the scale. Holiday weight gain is a common concern, especially for people with medical conditions. However, it is possible to enjoy the holiday festivities without compromising health and well-being by being aware and using a few mindful strategies.There are several factors that contribute to holiday weight gain, and it is important to be aware to avoid these. First, the holidays are known for hours of cooking and elaborate feasts, making it easy overindulge  which leads to an excess of calories, sugar and salt. Second, there is social pressure to participate in the festivities and eat these high-calorie foods and drinks. Third, the holidays disrupt regular routines which include exercise and physical activity. Fourth, even though holidays can be joyous, holidays can be stressful, cause anxiety, and trigger other emotions which can lead to emotional eating. These are a few factors that contribute to weight gain.

To prevent weight gain, there are some strategies to keep in mind. First, be mindful of what and how much you eat. It is also best to avoid mindless snacking during these events. You can even plan to eat a balanced, nutritious meal before heading out to reduce the chance of overeating at the event. When at the event, it is best to choose healthier options, which includes more vegetables, fruits and lean meats. Also staying hydrated is important as well which can help curb appetite and excessive snacking. Second, despite the busy holiday schedule, it is important to prioritize physical activity. Trying to be active or exercise before festivities may help with the busy schedule. Third, monitor your alcohol consumption because it can lead to excess calorie intake. Be mindful of mixers and sugars. Finally, it is important to share your health goals with friends and family so they can help you stay accountable.

Even though the holidays are a time for gathering and celebrating, it is important to find a balance between festivities and health. Be aware that there are many reasons of overindulgence and be mindful of what and how much you eat. The key is to make conscious choices of what you eat, staying active and being accountable in order to avoid unwanted consequences while also enjoying the holidays.

David Nguyen, D.O.-2Dr. Nguyen is a resident physician who sees patients of all ages and provides obstetrical services at Lone Star Family Health Center, a non-profit 501©3 Federally Qualified Health Center operating facilities in Conroe, Spring, Willis, Grangerland, and Huntsville, and serving as home to a fully integrated Family Medicine Residency Program to increase the number of Family Medicine physicians for Texas and our community.