Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Holiday Weight Management

Happy Thanksgiving friends! We hope you will get to spend time enjoying the holiday with family and friends. This is the time of year when we begin bracing ourselves for cold weather, crowds and holiday weight gain.  It is a common belief among Americans that holiday parties and feasting can result in a weight gain of 5lbs or more. 

In a prospective study of holiday weight gain featured in the New England Journal of Medicine the data showed that average holiday weight gain is less than most expect.  Weight gain observed during the holiday period was 1-3 lbs.  What is alarming is that most people don't lose that weight throughout the year leading to an increase in weight over many years.  One to three extra pounds may not seem like much but after 10 years we're looking at an additional 10 to 30 lbs, no thank you!  Here are a few tips for weight management during the holiday season.

  • Plan holiday meals at normal meal times instead of adding an extra meal or skipping a meal and arriving to the table ravenous.
  • Choose smart sancks to maintain blood glucose and energy levels.
  • Listen to hunger and fullness cues and remember it can take up to 20 minutes for our stomach to let our brain know we've hit our comfortable limit.
  • Drink plenty of water, especially if partaking in adult beverages.
  • Include physical activity in your holiday plans like ice skating or a game of flag football with the family.
  • Look for healhy modifications for traditional holiday foods, try steaming green beans instead of sauteeing in butter or incorporate fruit in baking instead of relying on added sugar for sweetness.
  • Don't feel compelled to eat everything offered, hosts will understand and in another year all of these foods will be available again.
  • Be mindful of portion sizes and don't force yourself to "clean your plate".
  • Enjoy the non-food related aspects of the holidays like socializing, music and gift-giving.
Be safe and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November is American Diabetes Month

November is American Diabetes Month.  According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report there are nearly 30 million Americans living with diabetes. There were 1.7 million new cases in 2012 and 25% of Americans over 65 have diabetes. This disease does not discriminate; young and old, male and female, and people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds are affected by diabetes.  Most of us have a family member, friend or co-worker who is living with diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association is busting some common myths about diabetes and lifestyle management for people living with diabetes.

Myth: Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar.
Fact: Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors and type 2 diabetes is caused by lifestyle choices and genetics.

Myth: Diabetes is not a serious disease.
Fact: Diabetes is a growing epidemic that takes a physical, emotional and financial toll.

Myth: You have to lose a lot of weight for diabetes to improve.
Fact: Losing 7% of your body weight can offer significant health benefits.

Myth: People who use insulin are unsafe drivers.
Fact: Most people who use insulin can operate motor vehicles safely.

Myth: Healthy foods won't raise my blood glucose.
Fact: Eating too much of any food, even a healthy food like fruit, can lead to high blood glucose.

Myth: People with diabetes can't get tattoos.
Fact: It is considered safe as long as diabetes is well controlled.

Myth: People with diabetes are more likely to get colds and other illnesses.
Fact: People with diabetes are not more likely to get ill however the illness can make blood glucose difficult to control.

Myth: It's possible to have just "a little" diabetes.
Fact: Everyone who has diabetes runs the risk of serious complications.

Myth: People with diabetes can feel when their blood glucose level goes too low.
Fact: Not always, some people can't feel symptoms of hypoglycemia.

Myth: People with diabetes cannot eat sweets or chocolate.
Fact: If eaten in the correct portions as part of a healthy meal plan, or combined with exercise, sweets and desserts can be eaten by people with diabetes.

For more information on diabetes and lifestyle management visit the American Diabetes Association at