It’s that time again!  Eggnog at the neighbors, Christmas cookies galore, potlucks, more food gifts, more parties, more everything!  Perhaps it is time to think about what can help us resist most of this ~ I say most because a few cheat days will not hurt us.

A study by Kara Mohr, PhD, co-owner of Mohr Results in Louisville, KY states that three (or even six)  days of overeating during the course of 6 holiday weeks will not result in weight gain.  She suggests cutting just 300 calories from our diet each day for 6 days a week over that 6-week period which can actually result in a loss of as much as 3# during this typical weight-gaining season.  I think I might try this plan even outside this crazy holiday time 🙂

According to researchers at the National Institutes of Health, most Americans NEVER lose the weight they gain during the winter holidays and these pounds add up year after year, making holiday weight gain an important factor in adult obesity.

According to a recent study from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 69% of Americans are overweight or obese, putting them at greater risk for stroke, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes.  Another sobering statistic……….  If we continue growing at our current pace, an estimated half of Americans will be obese by 2030!  Our daily lives have become increasingly sedentary ~ the average American clocks in 55 hours per week behind a desk!  We need an intervention!

Let’s imagine a day at the beach (even though summer is far away!) without any body issues, or playing with your kids and matching their energy level.  Here are some easy tips to help us get there:

1.  Substitute soda water for soda

2.  Order that side salad instead of french fries

3.  Choose high fiber (soluble) foods

4.  Drink water one half hour before each meal – studies show an increase of weight loss by 44% over 3 months

5.  Use smaller plates (we tried this – success!  we ate much less!)

6.  Make sure to get a good night’s sleep ~ those who do not are at risk for weight gain

7.  Substitute a meal with a shake that includes leucine,  an amino acid which signals your body to keep muscle. (If you lose muscle mass your metabolism slows down and you burn fewer calories per day.  Leucine is an amino acid which our body does not produce.  Pound for pound, muscles burn more calories than fat ~ even in your sleep!  Leucine-rich foods include legumes, egg whites, lean portions of meat and poultry, most types of fish, peanuts, dried spirulina and that meal replacement I mentioned above – the shake with leucine.

Did you know that when you keep muscle while losing body fat, the number on your scale may not decrease as fast as you would think?  Losing fat will lead to a greater loss of inches ~ which is what you really want.  The other benefit to keeping muscle is that it keeps your metabolism strong which means you are less likely to gain the weight back. And remember ~ real changes happen over weeks and months (not hours and days) so let your favorite pair of jeans be your guide.  For more information about the power of leucine as well 20% off thru 12/31 on leucine-rich shakes,  go here.

Remember, a few cheat days will not hurt you ~ Happy Holidays!

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