Holiday Weight Gain

Stop the Seasonal Seven

Even though summer is over and many of us feel safe and comfortable having our bodies hidden in our bulky fall and winter sweaters, the holiday “seasonal seven” pounds will soon be here – The Holiday Weight Gain. Holidays are a time to get together with friends, family, and a time when most will indulge in pumpkin pie, gravy, stuffing, cakes, candies, beverages, and other holiday favorites.

In reality, though, studies show that most people will gain far less. The only problem is that the holidays probably account for much of a person’s annual weight gain over the course of a lifetime, and holiday weight gain is the hardest to weight gain

According to most studies on the subject, the average person gains one to two pounds from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day and only 10 percent of people gained more than five pounds. Those who were the most active had the least gain, and those who were already overweight gained the most.

Having worked for Nutri/System for five years, I found that many women would start a weight loss program in September. For them it was easier because the children were back in school, therefore there were fewer snacks in the house, less eating out, less day time movies and shopping. In addition, it certainly was easier to find the time to focus on doing things for themselves.

Believe it or not, most people will begin their lifestyle changes now, so they can be healthier and ahead of the holiday game. Besides, we all have some relatives and friends that we only see once a year, and when we see them we all want to be told how great we look. Right?

Excess weight, of course, is not just a holiday phenomenon. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight and nearly one-third of U.S. adults are obese, according to the National Institutes of Health.

All information in this edition has been gathered from a variety of sources. You should always check with your physician before starting any weight loss or exercise program to see what is right for you.

holiday weight gain

Weight Loss = Health Gains

weight lossWeight loss is not just about appearances, weight loss is about health. The Surgeon General’s call to action to prevent and decrease overweight and obesity has indicated that obesity is associated with the risk of:

  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Premature death
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis (degeneration of cartilage and bone in joints)
  • Sleep apnea
  • Asthma
  • Cancer (endometrial, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and postmenopausal breast cancer)
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Complications of pregnancy
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Stress incontinence (urine leakage caused by weak pelvic floor muscles)
  • Increased surgical risk
  • Psychological disorders such as depression
  • Psychological difficulties due to social stigmatization

Are You In The Correct Weight Range …

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute has a great calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) Chart that will let you know where you stand. BMI is a measure of body fat based on height, weight that applies to both men and women.

Four Degrees of Obesity

  • Obese is generally defined as at least 30 to 40 pounds overweight.
  • Severely obese is considered to be at least 60 pounds overweight.
  • Morbidly obese is at least 100 pounds overweight.
  • Super obese is considered at least 200 pounds overweight.

Physicians consider a person to be obese if they weigh more than 20% above expected weight for age, height, and body build. Morbid or malignant obesity is when a person is over 100 pounds above that expected for age, height, and build.

How Much Should I Eat?

It is always wonderful when you can find a tool that can easily calculate what your daily caloric intake should be. One of the best I have found is this Daily Calorie Counter. Just enter your height, age, gender weight, and activity level, then let the chart calculate how many calories you need to eat in order to maintain your weight. If you desire to lose weight, it will let recommend how many calories you need to either not consume or burn through activity.

20 Things You Should Know Before You Go … 

Before you decide to go to a weight-loss spa, you should first ask a few questions. The purpose is to establish what your expectations are and what items are important to you. Once you have a clear idea of what will work best for you, ask these questions of the spas that interest you to ensure they will meet and exceed your expectations.

  1. I need to lose _______ pounds what is the recommended stay for me to lose weight and be able to maintain it off?
  2. Does the program include:
    – Exercise
    – Nutritional Counseling
    – Behavioral Counseling
    – Medical Assessment
    – Spa Services
  3. Which of these services listed above provide one on one individual support?
  4. Are the accommodations Private? Are the accommodations within walking distance of the facility?
  5. Are there specific program start dates?
  6. What is the average weight loss per guest per week?
  7. Do you have a physician, nurse or medical facility on-site?
  8. Are your fitness instructors certified (i.e. by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America or the Professional Fitness Instructors Training), and how many instructors are in each class.
  9. What is the average age and fitness level of spa guests?
  10. What weight loss spa treatments do you offer/recommend to facilitate weight loss and enhance skin tone?
  11. What type of exercise equipment do you offer?
  12. Are outdoor recreational activities included or available? Tennis, Golf, Water sports, horseback riding, hiking?
  13. Is my day regulated or flexible, how will my schedule be set?
  14. Do you offer an educational component healthy lifestyle classes, healthy cooking classes, mindful eating, and behavior modification?
  15. Based on spa menus, what are the fat grams and caloric amount in daily food intake?
  16. What type of food do you serve?
  17. Are there additional taxes, gratuity and service fees?
  18. What do personal services cost?
  19. What should I pack? Yoga clothing, swimsuits, running shoes, aerobic shoes, sandals, hiking boots, etcetera.
  20. What is the weather during the time of my stay?

Holiday Healthy Habits … 

Help Hold that Winter Weight Gain Away!

Even though this time of year may bring on additional stresses and challenges, there are ways to find balance and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The festivities don’t have to be eliminated or avoided. You can have a fabulous time while maintaining your weight and your fitness regimen.

The secret to achieving a fun and healthy holiday time is to take a moderate approach to what you eat and how much exercise you do. So this season, get a head start on the New Year instead of starting January with extra pounds to lose.

Create a plan ahead of time. Before the holidays sneak up on you, create a plan for incorporating fitness and good nutrition into your daily routine. Evaluate your holiday schedule and then determine how much time you will realistically have available to devote to working out. Here are some Happy Healthy Holiday suggestions:

Party Pointers:

  • Don’t go to a party hungry. Think about the types of foods present at holiday parties – they may not always be the most healthful. If you go to a party hungry you are more likely to overeat. When attending a holiday function, try to eat ahead of time to lessen your hunger. If the party is in the evening, eat breakfast, lunch and a snack beforehand. Balance party foods and meals with other meals. Eat smaller meals with fewer calories during the day so you can enjoy the party – without exceeding one’s energy intake for the whole day. For those smaller meals, include low-fat protein as well as fruit, vegetables, and whole grains for fiber. Since you have eaten meals earlier in the day, you’ll be less tempted to go overboard and eat everything in sight. However, if you instead starve all day long attempting to “save up” all your calories for the party, you will be so famished by the time it begins that it will be difficult not to overeat.
  • When at a party, scout out healthy food options rather than doing a grab and run on all the unhealthy selections. For example, vegetable sticks (without dip), fruit pieces, plain chicken pieces, etc. Then move on to some of the less healthy offerings. You will be less likely to overindulge on these foods if you have already filled-up on some of the healthier items. Yet, you will not feel deprived or unsatisfied.
  • Know what to skip at holiday dinners, skip the gravy, dressings, and high-calorie condiments. For dinner parties, skip dessert or choose fresh fruit if it is available. If you are served a dessert, eat half. Remember, smaller is better. When the food at a party is being served buffet-style, make one trip through the buffet line and take only small amounts of the foods that you really like. If possible, use a salad plate so that your plate looks full and it provides portion control. Don’t linger at the buffet or in the kitchen. If you loiter in close proximity to all the guilty temptations, you’ll struggle to keep from unconsciously shoveling food into your mouth.
  • Focus on socializing. Remember one of the great things about the holidays is spending time with friends and family. During get-togethers spend the majority of time-sharing conversation instead of sharing desserts. · Socialize away from the food table. This will reduce the temptation to overeat and allow you to focus on the great conversations you are having with your friends, family, and co-workers.

On the Job …

  • For office parties, try to get involved in the planning process to help ensure that some healthy foods will be available. Offer to bring a fresh fruit or vegetable tray, baked tortilla chips and salsa, or pretzels. If you are offering to bring a dish that has been modified to lower the fat and calorie content, be sure to try out the dish at home in advance to make sure the taste is still acceptable.
  • If you work in an office setting be prepared for the deluge of guilty treats your co-workers and other business associates will graciously want to share. Stash your own healthy snacks in your desk so you won’t be tempted to overindulge when your grumbling stomach demands a 3:00 snack time.

Holiday Cheer …

  • Consume alcohol in moderation, if at all. This tip has as much to do with common sense and safety as it does nutrition. For example, an 8-ounce glass of nonalcoholic eggnog contains more than 340 calories. Add alcohol to the eggnog and the calories increase to nearly 450. Plus, those calories from alcohol tend to be stored as fat. The average alcoholic drink contains 150 – 200 calories per glass. Indulge in just 2-3 drinks and you’ve drunk the equivalent calories of an entire meal. If you partake in these beverages, choose wisely. For example, instead of having a full glass of wine, try mixing half a glass of wine with sparkling water or with a diet soda. This will help cut your calories in half.
  • Sparkling water in a champagne glass with a strawberry or slice of lemon or lime can be just as festive.

Holiday Shopping …

  • Pack the 2 H’s: H2O (water) and Healthy Snacks when you’re running errands or shopping. Then after you work-up a big appetite, you won’t be tempted to grab something at the mall food court or the fast-food restaurant on the way home.

Top Ten Pack OFF The Pounds Pointers:

  1. Eat smaller, more frequent meals, such as five to six a day.
  2. Drinks lots of water, around eight to ten glasses a day. It helps speed up your metabolism. People often confuse hunger with dehydration.
  3. Use common sense. Exercise and nutrition are the best ways to lose weight. Incorporate exercise into your daily life, park further away from the stores when you shop so you can get walking in. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you need to speak with someone in your office walk to see them rather then call.
  4. Eliminate processed sugar from your diet.
  5. Increase your daily fiber, but it will “backfire” if you don’t drink lots of water!
  6. Don’t eat after dinner. Try not to eat anything 3 hours prior to your bedtime. Going to bed on an empty stomach will save hundreds of calories and you will wake up with a flat stomach.
  7. Whites aren’t right! Minimize servings of potatoes, rice, pasta, and breads (all white foods) if fat loss is your goal.
  8. No matter where you’re eating, you’re probably eating too much. American portions are huge, so trying eating only half of what’s on your plate from restaurants. When serving yourself, either use a small plate not a dinner plate, or make sure you only fill your plate one-half full.
  9. Chew your food well, at least 35 chews for each mouthful. Place your eating utensils down between bites.
  10. If a food causes any discomfort during or after you consume it. Drop it from the foods you eat. These symptoms could be gas, belching, mucose, running nose, or hiccups. Also, eliminate any foods you crave. You may be allergic to it. If you crave foods with salt, it may be that you are under stress, and you should look at ways to eliminate stress

The Skinny on Weight Loss Spas 

“Spavelous Select” – Seventeen Top Slimming Spas

A weight-loss spa is helpful in promoting a complete change in lifestyle for people who are trying to lose weight.

A weight-loss spa is a place where you can participate in weight loss programs that can teach you how to lose weight safely and effectively and how to keep it off.

To help you

Experts believe that healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle are the best ways to lose weight. However, not everyone possesses the determination, enthusiasm, and discipline to change their lifestyle and eating habits. This is where a weight loss spa can help.

Change your lifestyle

A weight-loss spa is like a center where you can learn how to change your lifestyle and eating habits. You are going to learn how you can resist all those unhealthy foods and how you can incorporate exercise into your lifestyle. The programs of a weight loss spa can also be organized as a type of vacation where you can relax while losing weight in the process.

The know-how

Since one of its goals for you is to help you get to your healthy and ideal weight, you need to learn how you can prevent weight gain and weight fluctuations. A weight-loss spa can also provide you with the right knowledge of weight loss management.

What’s the best weight loss spa for you? We’ve reviewed some of the top spas around the country to help you choose.

Green Mountain at Fox Run, Ludlow, VT

Healthy Eating “Non-Diet” Weight Loss Program and Fitness Program

Hilton Head Health Institute, Hilton Head Island, SC

Healthy Weight Loss Spa “Simple. Sensible. Success. ™

Cal-a-Vie, Vista, CA

“Healthy, Relaxing and Memorable Experience”

Canyon Ranch

“The Power of Possibilities”

Duke Diet & Fitness Center, Durham, NC

“Lasting Success through Sensible Diet”

New Age Health Spa, Neversink, NY

“Defining The Nature of Living Well”

Cooper Aerobics’ Center, Dallas, TX

Sound. Sensible. Scientific.

The Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa, Aventura, FL

“Safe, Healthy and Natural”

Heartland Spa, Gilman, IL

“A Haven in the Heartland”

The Spa at Grande Lake, Lebanon, CT

“Rejuvenate at the Spa at the Grand Lake”

Vatra Spa, Hunter, NY

“The best weight loss & the most affordable spa in the USA”

Red Mountain Spa, St. George, UT

“Reenergizing through Weight Loss”

Mandala Wellness Retreat & Spa, Sautee-Nacoochee, GA

“Natural Weight Loss”

Tennessee Fitness Spa, Waynesboro, TN

“Block of Fame” Challenge

Birchcreek Health and Weight Loss Retreat, Pine Hill, NY

“Jump Start your Life”

The Green Valley Spa and Tennis Resort, St. George, UT

“Where life comes into focus”

The Best Weight Loss Spa 

The best weight loss spa should be able to accommodate all of your needs. They should be able to not only help you lose weight during your stay with them but also help you get started on keeping off that weight outside of their facilities with better eating habits and an exercise program. Although generally lumped together as offering weight management programs, the spas we just reviewed have different approaches unique to them.

Finding the best weight loss spa that suits your needs perfectly might be hard, but it might just be the most important find of your life. Consider looking one up in your locality. The best weight loss spa for you might just be around your corner.

There are many weight loss medical spas throughout the USA, for example, the Oasis Center for Wellness and Beauty in Brandon, FL, offers a weight management program which offers a unique combination of weight management, nutrition, education, and vitamin therapy. Those that join their program receive a full medical evaluation by a licensed physician. Their program offers ways to address your fitness, diet and nutritional needs.

So make sure you also check spas in your local area. This will provide you with ongoing support, counseling, and coaching.