Tips for Staying Healthy this Holiday Season

by Corbin Burkard, head trainer, Burn Boot Camp

Here you are again, wonderful holiday season. That magical time of year when you loosen up a notch on your belt and prepare yourself for the scale to move anywhere from 10–20 pounds, depending on the year. However, this time around you are ready for lasting change. You are ready to fulfill the commitment you set out on last New Year’s. Here is your survival pack for this holiday season!

  • When going out to any sort of holiday party, offer to bring a dish. It is a good way for you to protect yourself from being stuck with a lame veggie tray, or without any healthy options whatsoever!
  • Don’t forget about moderation. Track those calories and stay within your allotted budget. Allow yourself some “cheats,” but keep it all within moderation…which brings me to alcohol. Stick to water as much as you can, and when you do choose to have a drink, keep it at just one or two.
  • Stay with your regular exercise routine. It is super easy, especially as you get busier and busier around the holiday season, to get away from your normal workout routine. Stay consistent, because the more consistent you are with your exercise, the more you will stick to stronger nutrition.
  • Maintain a strong support system. Whether that is enlisting the support of your significant other, or as a family you have decided to make better decisions this year. Either way, this is always something that is really challenging to do. Do it together!

Cheers to staying with your goals this holiday season!

Eat Your Way to a Healthier You

By Victoria Vande Zande, MD, Prevea Health Internal Medicine

 

There are many benefits of a healthy diet including increased energy, improvement in overall health, mood stabilization and overall feeling better. Healthy eating is not about strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically thin or depriving yourself of foods you love. There are many simple things that you can do to start eating better.

  • Increase your fruit and vegetable consumption to five servings per day. This helps to increase your fiber and vitamin intake, as well as increase complex carbohydrates.
  • Decrease your calorie intake by replacing liquid calories with water.
  • Eat real food. Replace fast food, food from convenience stores and processed snacks with food that you prepare. This takes some extra planning but will definitely make you feel better.
  • If portion size is an issue, try using a smaller plate or a plate which shows how much of each thing you should have.
  • People who count calories have the most success with weight loss if that is what you are striving for.

 

Not matter what you do, it is important to get the proper balance of foods including lean protein, fat and carbohydrates. Evidence shows that higher protein diets decrease hunger, increase weight loss and increase percentage of fat loss. Fats are important as an energy source and for cell function. Trans fats, found in processed and deep fried foods, should be avoided. Carbohydrates are the most abundant molecules on earth and are an important source of fuel for your body. They are necessary for a healthy diet, but it is important to choose correctly. Choose fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates and avoid simple carbohydrates (sugar, processed foods).

 

Now, the holidays are right around the corner and it can be difficult to eat healthy during this time of year; Americans gain approximately one to two pounds throughout the holidays. This can add up over the years. In preparation for a holiday feast, remember:

  • Don’t skip meals. Hunger will cause you to overeat.
  • Eat breakfast. Research shows that people who eat breakfast consume less during the day.
  • Use a smaller plate. This encourages proper portion sizes.
  • Start by eating salad and vegetables first. You’ll be filled up and eat less.
  • Drink a large glass of water prior to eating. Again, you’ll be filled up and eat less.
  • Don’t devour your meal. Eat slowly and savor each bite, and wait 10 minutes before going back for seconds.

 

Controlling cravings over the holidays can also be problematic. Too much processed carbohydrates, sugar and sugar substitute can increase cravings for sweet foods. It has been proven that the more you restrict yourself, the more you are going to get cravings for those foods. Allowing yourself a small amount of the things you crave will not leave you feeling deprived. When you are allowed these foods you are less likely to binge or feel guilty for eating them. One tip – put a barrier between you and the food you crave. Put the food farther away. The less convenient a food is to obtain, the less likely you are to succumb to the craving.

A Weight  Loss Program That Works

For some, a more strict diet is necessary. For these people, Prevea Health offers Ideal Weigh. Ideal Weigh is a medically-supervised weight loss program that uses Ideal Protein foods along with vegetables, protein and supplements to achieve weight loss. With Ideal Weigh, carbohydrates are limited to push your body into ketosis. During ketosis your body burns fat first. Since you are eating more protein your body doesn’t burn muscle. In fact, patients on Ideal Weigh have improved body composition (decreased fat and increased muscle) and lose inches. Additional benefits? Patients with diabetes and high blood pressure are often able to decrease the medications they are on, or discontinue them altogether. Patients who have difficulty with fertility due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can have improved fertility. Patients with muscle and joint pain will often have improvement due to decreased inflammation when they decrease their simple carbohydrate intake. To learn more visit prevea.com/weightloss.

Yuck, I Have the Flu — Now What?

By Ann Bischel, Mayo Clinic Health System

Got the flu?

Don’t worry quite yet. There are ways you can self-manage:

  • Hydrate. Be sure to drink plenty of liquids, such as water, juice and warm soups, to prevent dehydration.
  • Rest. Catch up on your sleep to help your immune system fight off the infection.
  • Medication. Generally, you’ll need nothing more than bed rest and fluids. You also may consider an over-the-counter pain reliever to reduce some of the aches associated with the flu. But in some cases, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication. If taken soon after you notice symptoms, the medication may shorten your illness by a day or so and help prevent serious complications.

If infected with the flu, it’s important to take certain measures to ensure it doesn’t spread to others around you:

  • Wash your hands. Thorough and frequent hand washing or an alcohol-based sanitizer are effective ways to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Contain your coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth or nose when you sneeze or cough, and wash your hands after. To avoid contaminating your hands, cough or sneeze into a tissue or the inner crook of your elbow.
  • Avoid crowds. By avoiding crowds during the peak of flu season, you may reduce your chances of infection and spreading to others. If you’re sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever subsides to lessen your chance of infecting others.

If you do get the flu, remember these tips to help get over it quicker and avoid spreading it to others around you.

If you have flu symptoms and are at risk of complications, see your doctor right away.

Ann Bischel is a nurse practitioner in Express Care at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.