Kick extra pounds this holiday season

by Senior Airman Megan Carrico
Kaiserslautern American

Keeping your waistline in check during the holidays can be difficult for anyone.
According to the American Dietetic Association, on average, people gain anywhere from one to six pounds during the holidays.

“You’ll get a number of different answers on average weight gain, but the average is around one pound,” said Staff Sgt. David Fernandez, Ramstein Health and Wellness Center diet therapist craftsman. “The problem lies in that we don’t usually shed that pound over the holidays and therefore accumulate more as time goes by.”

Sergeant Fernandez adds that moderation is the key to keeping the weight off.

“This term gets overused and under worked,” he said. “Keep in mind that food is something to enjoy – not abuse – during the holidays. Fix your plate with the amount of food you would normally need.”

Substituting fruits and vegetables for cookies and candies is one way Sergeant Fernandez advises would-be holiday dieters.

“Another way is to drink a glass of water,” he said. “This fills your stomach with enough buoyancy to help keep you from over eating.”

Health reasons also play a role in keeping the extra weight off.

“Keeping the weight down helps keep the development of related health diseases down as well,” said Sergeant Fernandez. “Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent health risks such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes.”

Many people also stray from workout routines over the holidays.

“When you break from a normal workout routine, it’s hard to get back into that routine,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Carrico, former Health and Wellness Center fitness specialist. “Therefore, try to stay as active as possible throughout the holidays.”

Activities such as push-ups and sit-ups in the living room, going on a walk with family and friends, playing active board games like Twister or Charades, is a good way to keep a metabolism going, said Sergeant Carrico.

“Also, when holiday shopping, try to park far away and take stairs instead of the elevator,” he said. “But keep in mind that none of these activities will actually replace a gym routine.”

According to Sergeant Fernandez, lack of exercise combines with extra calories to produce the weight gain.

“Holiday meals usually have menu items that you don’t normally consume throughout the year, so just use good judgment when filling your plate,” he said.
The HAWC can provide more information on tips to stay slim over the holidays as well as other healthy living tips.

Also, check out these Web sites for more information on healthy eating: