Living and Wellness Lose that Post Holiday Weight…and Keep it Off By BodyChangers, January 3, 2014 Ahhh…the holidays. All the delicious food, drinks, sweets, cakes, cookies, and whatever ever else you happen to get your hands on, can really affect your waist line. In fact, most Americans gain at least one pound between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “That one pound might not sound like a lot, but over time, the extra pounds start to accumulate,” says Vicki March, MD, co-director of UPMC BodyChangers. “Over time, these pounds can accumulate and can possibly lead to obesity and chronic diseases later in life.” Dr. March and the UPMC BodyChangers team offers some helpful tips to help you lose that post-holiday weight and more importantly, keep it off. Make Your Breakfast Count You can start losing weight after the holidays by adding a healthy breakfast to your morning routine. A study in “Obesity Research” discovered that 78 percent of participants who’d lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for more than one year ate a healthy breakfast every day. In addition, the study also concluded that breakfast eaters engaged in more physical activity than nonbreakfast eaters, which is another key component to weight loss. Drink Plenty of Water Drinking plenty of water will help keep your energy high and also help flush out excess waste from all that indulgence throughout the holidays. Get Motivated With Exercise Adding in just a 30 minute exercise routine three times a week can help you start to loose excess holiday weight. Whether you go to a gym, or find time in between your busy schedule to get a workout in, exercising your body is ultimate way to shed the pounds. Eat Fiber-Rich Foods Adding fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts will not only increase your consumption of important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, but also limit your calorie intake. Why fiber? Recent research in the Journal of Nutrition suggests eating more fiber is a beneficial way to prevent weight gain or even encourage weight loss. Over the course of a two-year study, researchers found that boosting fiber by 8 grams for every 1,000 calories resulted in about 4 ½ pounds of weight lost. Long-Term Thinking If you want to lose holiday pounds and keep them off permanently, think of weight loss as a long-term lifestyle choice. Keep yourself motivated by tracking your progress in a weight-loss journal and by engaging a supportive group of friends and family in your efforts. The UPMC BodyChangers program offers an array of exercise and support groups that can help you reach your long term weight loss goals, and improve the quality of your health.