Gathering for the holidays is a tricky time for those trying to watch their weight. We have tempting seasonal desserts that are too delicious to pass.
A routine concern I hear is the dreaded “COVID-15” or the “COVID-20,” the amount of weight patients have added because they are unable to do the things they used to. Gyms and pools were closed.
More time was spent working from home, often near the kitchen. The eventual snacking leads to weight gain that contributes to a decline in health and many problems including low back pain, diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea.
Cutting calories and reducing your overall fat percentage can reverse these issues and improve your overall happiness. One size does not fit all, we are all unique and bring different strengths and weaknesses to the table.
What do I do?
Some are able to skip meals easily, others can change their diet drastically. Some patients are able to afford using a commercial program like Optavia, Medi-fast, Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers, but a lot of my patients are unable to afford the $500 monthly cost of these programs. I am here to let you know there is a simpler and cheaper solution.
In our office, we treat each patient with respect and part of the individual solution we prescribe to patients is based on their current intake.
We like to learn exactly what habits in terms of eating and exercise our patients have. We then recommend small changes in habitual behaviors that can be very powerful in changing the trajectory of the overall path.
A few small tools can help our patients navigate their meals and we have the ability to follow their journey biochemically with drastic improvements in overall health.
Motivation is the strongest determinant to successful weight loss and we are happy to help patients achieve their goals. We recommend you to schedule a consultation if you are interested in making a change.
My push for my patients to lose weight has changed into a passion as I have continued to succeed in weaning patients off insulin, reversing the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in their medical chart by treating and reversing their weight problem.
Now this may not work for everyone, yet I have spent the last few years looking at which options have been helpful for my patients and I will share them to help you achieve your goals.
Weight loss tips
• Eat lean protein 20 minutes before eating everything else
• During the holiday season, prioritize sleep as 7 hours can control your hunger and stress levels.
• As you are making food, do not sample the food. The “small” bites and “little” tastes can add up to a lot of calories.
• Before you go to a holiday party, decide how much you are going to allow yourself to eat and remind yourself of your weight goal.
• When you select your plate, pick the smallest plate available so that your portions will be smaller and do not go back for seconds.
• Always use a small plate, fill it with protein and vegetables. Save desserts for last.
• Beer, soda, and wine go down easy and can add hundreds if not thousands of calories to your daily and weekly intake. Drink more water.
• Eat slowly and enjoy each mouthful.
• Make sure you are only eating if you are hungry, and not just grazing because food is near.
• Consider Intermittent Fasting and limit the time you eat your meals
• If you’re drinking alcohol, remember that it is high in calories and try to limit your consumption to a 2 drink maximum.
• If you work in an environment with holiday treats, remove them from your cubicle, desk or office. Do what you can to avoid office treats.
• If you struggle with eating too many leftovers, give away the leftovers when you host a party this season.
• Go on a walk, play with the kids or dogs, do anything that helps get you up and about.
• When you first get to a party, take time to speak to everyone at the party instead of heading straight for the food.
• Be accountable to someone else for your weight. Have a spouse or friend improve your chances with some healthy competition.
• You don’t have to eat only carrot sticks, but practice moderation and don’t eat every dessert available. Have one bite that truly savors it.
• When you are full, put the plate away.
• Drink 4-5 glasses of water every day, 1 before each meal at least to maintain a sense of fullness and hydration.
• If you taste something and don’t enjoy it, do not waste your calories finishing it.
• Eat Steel Cut Oatmeal made with water for brunch if you plan on eating unhealthy at dinner
• Switch drinks for homemade soda water as it has zero calories.
Kern Brar MD is a board-certified internal medicine physician who lives in North County. Brar has been working as a hospital doctor at Tri-City Medical Center and recently started a private practice. Brar’s specialty is medically monitored weight loss. Please call the office at 760-940-7000 if you would like to learn more.