Mind and Body

Help! Holiday Weight Gain

The holidays are a time of "lots." Lots of parties, lots of drinking and lots of eating! On average, people gain around 9 and 11 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years. Which makes sense that for many of us, losing weight is on the top of our New Year's resolution list.

Here are some tips to help you lose that extra poundage and get your body back in shape.

1. Eat every 3-4 hours. Eating small portions regularly will help to keep your hunger at bay and your calories in check so you don't end up overeating. When your blood sugar drops, you end up overeating to compensate for it. Fiber and protein are the two nutrients with the lowest caloric density so you fill up without filling out. Some excellent snacks to keep at the office include fiber-rich crackers with peanut butter, pistachios with dried fruit, string cheese and an apple.

2. Add more fiber to your diet. Cut out the refined carbs, which have no fiber. Carbs get converted into glucose which gets filled with water - if you're storing carbs, you're storing water. High-fiber carbs give you the carb fix without the bloat - added bonus: WEIGHT LOSS. Fiber-rich foods fill you up on just a few calories leading to weight loss without hunger! Swap out all white flour refined products from your diet and replace them with high-fiber foods such as whole wheat cereals and breads, and rice.

3. Include more fruits and vegetables. High- fiber options are low in calories and high in antioxidants. Fiber acts as a natural detox. Soup is a great way to fill up on high fiber veggies in the winter. Nothing is more filling and satisfying then a hearty bowl of soup, on your lunch break, or a big salad. Try eating an apple, pear or berries to once again see your hard rock abs.

4. Add more protein to your diet. Lean proteins such as fish, chicken, and lean cuts of beef, lamb, veal and pork contain 35-55 calories an ounce. Fill your plate with at least 3-5 ounces of protein at lunch and dinner with a side of fiber-rich vegetables. Who wouldn't want to sit down to a succulent steak??

5. Eat foods that boost metabolism. Many foods help increase metabolism, so make sure to incorporate them into your diet. The best metabolism-boosting foods include low-fat dairy, berries, high-fiber cereals, green tea, hot peppers, soy beans, citrus fruits, cold-water fish like salmon, tuna and sardines. Spicy foods are also a great way to add flavor to your foods without adding salt. By increasing your body temperature and heart rate, the amount of calories your body is burning will be instantly increased. Ask your wife to add extra spice to your favorite homemade dishes!

6. Drink eight glasses of water. People often mistake thirst for hunger. Water fills you up so you tend to eat less. When you don't drink enough water, your body gets dehydrated. Not only does water help to flush out the toxins in your body, but drinking water hydrates you, preventing your skin from drying out.

7. Exercise. Muscle burns more calories than fat. Added muscle can help to burn that eggnog belly you earned celebrating the holiday season. Try increasing the pounds you lift and/or increasing your reps, to see results.

Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD is a nutritionist and founder of Skinnyandthecity.com. She is also the creator of The F-Factor DietaC/, an innovative nutritional program she has used for more than ten years to provide hundreds of her clients with all the tools they need to achieve easy weight loss and maintenance, improved health and well-being. For more information log onto

www.FFactorDiet.com

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Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The F-Factor Diet and The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber.

Subscribe to Tanya’s FREE Weekly Newsletter and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. To learn more about Tanya’s private nutrition counseling services visit www.ffactor.com.