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Weight for the Holidays

Dec 11, 2013

If I said those words out loud, it would likely be interpreted differently depending on the audience.  For many children, it would mean having to wait for parties, presents and school break.  For people who struggle with managing their weight, it could be a reminder of the constant challenges presented at this time of the year.  It seems that from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day and even into the Super Bowl, much of our lives revolve around food. Lots of food. Really yummy food. High calorie foods…It can make the challenge of weight management seem impossible.

This past week, I saw a headline in Stone Hearth Newsletter that read, “Skip the weight loss discussions during the holidays to preserve the peace.”  In essence, the article suggested avoiding talk about weight during the holidays.  The amount of weight most gain is quite small and each of us is probably very aware of our own personal changes in weight without someone telling us.

When our weight management class completed their 12-week series last Wednesday, my suggestion was to just try maintaining what they had accomplished; not to be disappointed if they lost a little ground through the first of the year.  And then, get back on track.  I do the best I can through the holidays, while still enjoying the parties and snacks, and get back on track January 2nd.

It makes me reflect on the general session at AADE’s Annual Meeting last summer presented by Arya Sharma, MD, PhD, FRCPC.  When he discussed The 5 As of Obesity Management, he made a point that the goal will often be to avoid gaining rather than to lose weight. He said to think about improving health and well-being not just the number on the scale. 

AADE has produced handouts that I think are extremely helpful for us and the people we work with.  From “A Diabetes-Friendly Guide to a Healthy Thanksgiving Plate” to “Holiday Season Eating for a Person with Diabetes” to “A Diabetes-Friendly Eating Plan for the Big Game,” we are given great ideas to plan for healthy holidays. There is also one for “Summer Fun Food Tips for People with Diabetes.”  They are produced in color, but copy nicely in black and white, and are all available for free on the AADE website. I will be printing a set for the waiting room and for each of the other educators. Download the resources for your patients

Each resource has great tips, including healthy recipes.  I personally really like some of the reminders to increase physical activity like doing our normal exercise before going to a gathering or including a walk after the meal.  What a great way to socialize, be healthy, and help others around us to be healthy, too!  Also, as you think about gift-giving, consider some options that will increase physical activity for yourself and/or that of your family and friends.

I hope everyone has a healthy holiday season and a Happy New Year!

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