Whether it’s from a few of Jane’s famous sugar cookies at the office, a second helping of creamy, golden eggnog at a holiday dinner, or a plate of snacks from the buffet at the neighbor’s Ugly Sweater Bash, extra calories are lurking around every corner this time of year and they do nothing for our health or waistlines. It’s no secret that packing on the pounds can also contribute to the development of back pain; the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases reports that “Too much weight can stress the back and cause pain.” With tasty temptation at every turn, how can you stay on track and avoid holiday weight gain and nagging aches? These top tips will have you staying healthy this holiday season.

  • Start Your Morning With Movement

Getting your morning started with exercise will not only work to improve your mood and motivation for the rest of the day, a study recently published by the Journal of Medicine and Science In Sports and Exercise helped researchers determine that when women worked out in the morning, they were not only more active for the remainder of the day, they were also less tempted by pictures of delicious dishes than on days that they didn’t work up a sweat. Not only can working out help you resist those rum balls, there’s the added bonus of burning off some of yesterday’s cupcakes.

  • Don’t Fast Before The Feast

Spending the day starving in anticipation of an evening event binge only sets you up for over-the-top indulgence and the discomfort and weight gain that go along with it. Also, the low blood sugar levels you’ll experience during the day will cause a spike in Cortisol levels (the stress hormone), encouraging not only the release of glycogen stores from your muscles for fuel (leaving you exhausted), it will also promote the storage of anything you do eat as abdominal fat to save for later. Maintaining stable blood sugar throughout the day with healthy fats, lean proteins, and low-glycemic carbohydrates will ensure you’re staying healthy this holiday season.

  • Be A Mindful Muncher

Whether it’s a small lunch pot-luck, or a full, festive spread, be sure to check out all of the options before deciding which fares to add to your plate. If you’re not a fan of cheese and crackers, but adore chips and taco dip, don’t start with the Swiss and Triscuits. “If you pick the stuff you really want and have it in moderation,” says Dr. Tim Church, professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University, “you’ll stave off those cravings that can get you in trouble later on.”

  • When All Else Fails, BYOD

Bringing Your Own Dish to share at holiday event is a fantastic alternative to guessing between the lesser of caloric evils on a buffet line. Snacking on lighter vegetables, fruits, and other high-fiber options like legumes will keep you feeling satisfied and help you avoid holiday weight gain this season. You might not be the only one looking for leaner fare!

Need Help Staying Healthy This Holiday Season?

The team at Advanced Wellness and Rehab is excited to be a part of helping you to have a healthy, happy holiday and new year. Contact us today to learn more about our innovative treatment options to quickly and effectively stop your pain and get you on the path to recovery.