• Home
  • Workplace Wellness Blog

Workplace Wellness Blog
16
Nov . 2017

Avoid the creeping menace of holiday weight gain!

  • by Julie Ferguson
  • |
  • with 0 Comment
  • |
  • in Uncategorized

holiday weight gain illustrated with a christmas tree bulb wrapped in a tape measure

Welcome to holiday weight gain season, which kicks off sometime around October (think Halloween candy), gathers steam in Thanksgiving, and peaks over the December holiday season. Researchers and health pundits vary in estimating the average American weight gain – some say a pound or two, conventional wisdom says as much as ten pounds. But it really doesn’t matter how much weight the average American gains or loses – the real metric that matters is whether you gain weight or not!

It’s not just the extra holiday eating that can add to end-of-year weight gain, either. Another culprit can be our winter tendency to hibernate. Studies show that people generally enjoy outdoor physical activity more than indoor physical activity. But in colder months with shorter daylight hours, we are generally less physically active outdoors.

As you eye that second piece of pumpkin pie, remember that it can take up to six months to shed any of the weight you gain over the holidays. A study of holiday weight gain in three countries that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine says: “although up to half of holiday weight gain is lost shortly after the holidays, half the weight gain appears to remain until the summer months or beyond.” Study authors add, “Of course, the less one gains, the less one then has to worry about trying to lose it.”

On way to avoid the pitfall of year-end weight gain is to approach the season with a plan. Have a strategy to approach the parties and holiday meals and a strategy to add more indoor and outdoor exercise and activity to your schedule. Before those parties and events, spend a little time researching best and worst food options, calorie wise. Before attending an event at a restaurant, check out the healthier menu options. And if you are doing the cooking, look for ways to make your favorite recipes a little healthier. The Mayo Clinic offers a good start: Healthy recipes: A guide to ingredient substitutions and Greatist offers suggestions for 67 more recipe substitutions. Also, don’t under-estimate the impact of alcohol. Most alcoholic drinks are heavy on sugar and calories so be sure to factor that in and limit your intake accordingly.

We’d also point you to some of our prior posts for tips to avoid weight gain:

10 tips for healthy holiday dining

Healthy Holiday Recipes from Lauren K

03
Nov . 2017

Add nutritious smoothies to your diet for sensitive stomachs

  • by Julie Ferguson
  • |
  • with 0 Comment
  • |
  • in Nutrition and Diet

Smoothies can be a great way to add more fruit, vegetables and fiber to your diet. If made correctly, they can be delicious, nutritious and a smart meal alternative. They are also a great food option for people who have digestive challenges, such as irritable bowel, malabsorption, Crohn’s or Celiac disease. They can also be good for cancer patients going through chemotherapy and who have low appetite.

Many people confuse smoothies and juices, but they are two distinctly different things. We think both are great and can play a role in your diet. Depending on your goals, one might be better than the other to meet your needs. Here’s the basic difference: Juicers extract all the juice from a fruit or vegetable, while smoothies are made by blending.

Juicing generally removes most or all of the skin and fiber, so they can offer a great nutrition boost. Because fiber has been removed, they pass through your system relatively quickly. Smoothies are blended so they can be made from the entire fruit or vegetable – skin, rind, stalk and all – for extra nutrients. The fiber slows digestion and helps make you feel full. You can also add yogurt, protein powder or other protein boosts to stay full longer.

How to make delicious, nutritious smoothies

A word of caution: Commercial smoothies that you buy in restaurants and stands can be high in calories and sugar. While an occasional serving might be OK, if you want to consume smoothies as a regular part of your diet, you need to learn the contents and nutritional facts. Or better yet, make your own. It’s easy, fast, fun, and you can get creative.

You can use a regular blender if you have one or there are dedicated smoothie makers of varying sizes and price points. Look for one that is easy to use and easy to clean so that you use it often. Some are pretty slim with a small footprint so you can keep them on your counter for frequent use. Here’s some comparison info on popular models of smoothie makers.

Most smoothie makers will offer some recipes and instructions. The type of smoothies you’ll make will partly depend on your goals, such as weight loss, a nutrition supplement for irritable digestive systems, or an occasional healthy treat. (if you are a Member of TotalCare Wellness and need help setting dietary goals,  call ESI certified Nutrition Coaching for help.)

There are no shortage of options. Eating Well offers a good selection of low-calorie and healthy smoothie recipes, including smoothie bowls – thicker smoothies that you serve in a bowl, eat with a spoon, and garnish fruit, granola or other toppings.

Prevention offers 20 Super-Healthy Smoothie Recipes

Cleveland Clinic offers a fun infographic on How to Smoothie.

infographic about making nutritious smoothies

20
Oct . 2017

Tips for getting motivated to lead a healthier lifestyle

  • by Julie Ferguson
  • |
  • with 0 Comment
  • |
  • in Coaching, Inspiration

Even though we know we should, many of us have trouble getting motivated to lead a healthier lifestyle. We know that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy and that more time exercising is better than more....Read More

14
Sep . 2017

But I just can't find the time to exercise ... why not try H.I.I.T.?

  • by Julie Ferguson
  • |
  • with 0 Comment
  • |
  • in Uncategorized

It's something our wellness coaches hear all the time: "I'd like to get fit, but I just don't have enough time to go to the gym" or "there's just not enough time in my work....Read More

23
Aug . 2017

Back To School Tips For Parents: Starting The School Year Off Right

  • by Julie Ferguson
  • |
  • with 0 Comment
  • |
  • in stress

Feeling the stress of a new school year? Your kids might be stressed, too. Here are back to school tips for parents to ease both and your kids into a new routine. Back to school....Read More

Subscribe to our Blog
Email *
Twitter
Social Media