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TODAY news for Thursday, December 1, 2005

Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center news

Keep the excess pounds away during the holidays

The most significant weight gain typically occurs during the months of November and December. During this eight-week period, we may easily gain between 5 and 10 pounds of fat.

Why? The answer is simple: We eat more and move less.

Holiday parties and social gatherings not only cause us to indulge in a greater quantity of food, but they also cause us to select more calorie-dense, rich treats—such as cheesecake and fried mozzarella.

One rich dessert, added to our daily diet for eight weeks, can by itself result in 5 to 10 pounds of newly acquired insulation.

In addition to rationalizing that rich desserts are fine because “it’s the holiday season,” we also give ourselves permission to take a break from exercise and physical activity.

If we typically exercise three days a week and burn about 300 calories each session, during an eight-week period we burn a total of 7,200 calories. If our exercise stops altogether, that alone can account for at least two pounds of fat.

Losing weight is often more difficult to achieve, in comparison to preventing weight gain in the first place.

Let this holiday season be different. Instead of waiting for January 1, plan ahead for the holidays.

In other words, prevent fat gain instead of trying to get rid of it come January 1.

Develop a proactive mind-set, as opposed to the typical reactive philosophy. During this holiday season, keep your waistline in check by following some simple suggestions:

    • Eat breakfast (especially “high fiber” cereals and lean protein).

    • Become aware of the calories in your favorite foods by reading labels (remember to do the math: if you eat an entire bag of chips that contains 150 calories per serving, and there are five servings, that’s 750 calories “down the hatch”).

    • Think “veggies, veggies, and more veggies” (not fried and with added “goop”).

    • Think whole fruit, rather than fruit juice.

    • Do not skip meals. In fact, eat four to six meals daily.

    • Eat healthy carbohydrates, but avoid enriched breads and refined sugars.

    • Think portions, rather than eliminating certain foods altogether.

    • Avoid adding “goop” to your food, such as butter, margarine, creamy sauces, heavy dressings, and fatty cheeses.

    • Avoid deep-fried foods.

    • Increase your physical activity at home and at work.

    • Use half of your lunch break to take a walk.

    • Get down to business at Drayson Center.

The keys to achieving your fitness goals include consistent and structured workouts, motivation, and personalization.

If you lack motivation or knowledge regarding sound, safe, and effective exercise programs, schedule an appointment with a personal trainer at Drayson Center.

Our personal trainers are highly educated in the fields of kinesiology and/or physical therapy. And they offer a personalized program that will help you achieve your goals. They’ll help you to prevent holiday weight gain.

Call (909) 558-8690, or extension 88690 to sign up today.

Editor’s note: Dr. Ladoux is a professor of health and physical education at Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa. In addition, she heads Health Management Services™, the organization which oversees personal training services at Drayson Center.

TODAY news for Thursday, December 1, 2005