12/28/2005

Tackling holiday weight woes

Small gains can be big problem all year
NEW YORK (CNN) -- "The good news is it's not as bad as we thought," said Dr. Jack Yanovski, the study's principal investigator and head of NICHD's Unit on Growth and Obesity. "The bad news is that it's hard to take off that weight the rest of the year."
Although it's not easy to shed holiday weight gain, experts say there are ways to keep the pounds from piling on in the first place. Figuring out a game plan is the first and most important step, said Judith Stern, co-founder and vice president of the American Obesity Association (AOA). Small changes can make a big difference, Stifler said. Switching from regular to diet soda can result in losing 6 to 8 pounds in a year's time, he said. Using mustard instead of mayonnaise or walking even 20 minutes a day also can help. Using smaller plates (thus, having smaller portions) and getting rid of leftovers after grand holiday meals also help the cause, added Stern. Another key is resisting pressure from friends and relatives to eat unhealthy foods. "You have to decide what you want to do, you can't be sabotaged," said Stern. "It's an extreme way of saying, 'I am in charge, please everybody help me.'" Fink also cautions against people who are too restrictive or who swear off certain foods (for instance, no cookies or no pies). This can lead to a vicious cycle of restricting a certain food, then eating it, then feeling bad or angry about what you did and in turn eating to make yourself feel better..
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