January 9, 2011 – 1:53 am
I’m a woman who’s struggled with her own weight for years. That means I’ve developed some strategies for post-holiday midriff management that I can share with you.
All those who never once over-indulged between Thanksgiving and Christmas, who said, “no thanks” to all desserts, no matter how delicious, who chose broccoli over candied yams, and who bypassed the food court while dashing through the mall, give yourselves a gold star.
Okay, the rest of you (me included) pay attention.
It’s not just that extra helping of stuffing or pie at parties and get-togethers. The holidays constantly tempt us to ditch the healthy habits we’ve tried to cultivate during the rest of the year. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, even the non-pregnant among us are eating for two.
Eventually though, we must begin damage control. I should know. Yes, I’m an OB-GYN who has done research on weight control and pregnancy. But I’m also a woman who’s struggled with her own weight for years. Fortunately, that means I’ve also developed some strategies for post-holiday midriff management that I can share with you.
1. GET MOVING: Right now. Don’t wait to join the gym. It’s too easy to put that off until tomorrow. Put on your most comfortable shoes and stroll around the block. Climb the stairs. Unclutter the closet. Researchers have found that moderate lifestyle activities, such as walking, doing chores, and choosing stairs over elevators, combined with a low-calorie diet, work almost as well in helping you shed weight as structured aerobics programs.
2. CHOOSE YOUR FOOD WISELY: You already know that foods high in simple carbohydrates (baked goods, potatoes, cookies, candies, juice and soda) can pack on pounds because of their high calorie content. But that’s just half the story. These starchy and sugary foods also raise your body’s blood glucose (sugar) levels. That coaxes your body to produce insulin to bring glucose back into balance. But, in trying to lower the spike in blood sugar, the body tends to overshoot, dropping glucose levels so low that you’re soon hungry all over again – and reaching for another snack. The solution to this vicious cycle? Grab a handful of unsalted nuts to snack on instead of starchy, sugary foods, and you’ll feel satisfied longer.
3. FORGIVE YOURSELF YOUR INDULGENCES: Yes, you overdid the holiday celebration, but so did millions of others, despite last New Year’s resolutions to the contrary. Feeling guilty just tempts you to chuck it all and reach for the Ben & Jerry’s. Don’t. Resolve to treat yourself to another kind of indulgence, instead. Take up ballroom dancing (great aerobic exercise that’s helped me slim down in the past), or join a power-walking group. If you live in cold-weather state, try skating or cross-country skiing. You’ll be wriggling back into your skinny jeans again before you know it.
About the Author:
Dr. Yvonne Thornton is a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and board-certified specialist in obstetrics, gynecology and maternal-fetal medicine (high-risk obstetrics) at New York Medical College, Valhalla, N.Y.Â She has delivered 5,542 babies and has supervised more than 12,000 deliveries. She is the nationally bestselling author of the memoir, The Ditchdigger’s Daughters, which has been translated into 19 languages and adapted into an award-winning world premiere movie for cable television, as well as its long-awaited sequel Something to Prove: A Daughter’s Journey to Fulfill a Father’s Legacy. Her other books includeWoman to Woman,Â Primary Care for the Obstetrician and Gynecologist andÂ Inside Information for Women.