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Avoiding Winter Weight Ga
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 Avoiding Winter Weight Gain

We often find ourselves eating and drinking more during the holidays, which results in weight gain. What's more, holiday stresses often can trigger a desire for comfort foods on top of the already-large quantities of unhealthy food and drink Americans consume between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

That's why we've looked to different sources and diet tips to fight stress, reduce weight and improve fitness. For example, The SouthBeach Diet: The Delicious, Doctor-Designed Foolproof Plan for Fast and Healthy Weight Loss, by cardiologist Arthur Agatston, M.D., recommends getting the right carbs and the right fats. Suzanne Somers' diet books offer tips to control insulin levels, and Barry Sears, PH. D., and the Zone diet suggest dividing your plate into one-third low-fat protein and two-thirds vegetables and fruits.


In fact, carbs may be the key. Recent research links the western population's obesity epidemic to the consumption of refined carbohydrates instead of the whole grains that humans ate for thousands of years.

Carbs ... friend or foe?

Refined carbs are plants and vegetables stripped of their vitamin-rich fiber casing by modern-day processing. Carbs that undergo this process can be digested too rapidly, causing the pancreas to overproduce insulin, which can lead to wear out of the organ. The result can be diabetes, high blood pressure or clogged arteries, which can cause major killers like heart attacks and strokes.

Healthy-eating tips

So as the holidays roll around, shop carefully and try these tips for healthy eating

  • Limit alcohol consumption, which can cause a fatty liver and can be considered a bad carb, full of empty calories.
  • Stick to limited amounts for 100% whole-wheat and whole-grain products and lots of vegetables and fruits. Refined carbs such as breads, pasta, bagels, cookies and, of course, alcohol are great comfort foods and stress busters, but we'd all be better off limiting these foods in our diet.
  • Keep fruits away from fats in the same meal to avoid bloating after meals and to encourage maintenance of an ideal weight.


  • Make healthy nutritional substitutions. Favor brown rice over white, yams over potatoes and avoid foods that contain trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup.


Remember that 30 to 45 minutes of vigorous daily physical activity is crucial to getting fit and beating stress. Once your doctor gives you the go-ahead to exercise, build up a sweat!

So fight the holiday slump, stress and weight gain with the above guidelines - and minimize your sugar intake. And for a tasty treat, take a bite of dark or bitter-sweet chocolate instead of high-fat and sugar-filled goodies.

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