HEALTHY LIVING: Shedding those holiday pounds

Via Peters

Whether you’re slimming down for the holidays or trying to get back on track for the New Year, learn how to lose weight the right way so those delicious holiday temptations don’t get the best of you.

Ho, Ho, hold on

Before you start taking drastic measures to shed a few pounds, it’s important to realize that not all weight-loss strategies are good for you. As you begin to make changes in your diet and exercise, remember that the goal is to be healthy – not just to look good. Avoid “miracle” pills, and make sure the diet plan you choose provides an adequate amount of nutrition and incorporates a variety of food groups, including lean protein, fruits, vegetables, dairy and whole grains.

Here are some other tips for losing weight safely and healthfully this season:

• Avoid empty calories. Filling up on empty calories from fried foods and sugary snacks is a common temptation, especially during the holidays. Eat a healthy, filling meal before you go to a Christmas or New Year’s Eve party to reduce your urge to binge.

• Make water your drink of choice. Sodas, punches and alcoholic beverages are a hidden danger for the weight-conscious partygoer. Substitute these drinks with water, tea or coffee.

• Change up your exercise routine. Find new and interesting ways to burn calories, such as dancing more at parties or joining a Zumba class. Skip the elevator at work – and the escalator at the mall – and take the stairs instead.

• Be strict, but not too strict. Staying loyal to your diet and exercise goals is the key to losing weight. However, setting a limit on sweets rather than eliminating them altogether may be more realistic. Allow yourself one small dessert portion or one alcoholic beverage on days you exercise.

Be sure to talk with your primary care provider before starting an exercise program. If you’re looking for a physician, visit today to find a provider near you.

A pound of diabetes prevention

In 2018, 34.2 million Americans had diabetes, and in 2015 a whopping 88 million Americans ages 18 and older had “pre-diabetes” – a common precursor to Type 2 diabetes marked by high blood sugar levels.

If you have high blood sugar or other risk factors for Type 2 diabetes and are trying to shed a few pounds, those few pounds can keep help prevent diabetes, too.

A 2008 study conducted by the National Institutes of Health showed that even a modest amount of weight loss reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Participants who lost weight through changes in diet and exercise were 58 percent less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who didn’t.

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