Health Education

Keeping The Holiday Pounds Off by Cord Prettyman, MPT

 It’s official – the Holiday Feeding Frenzy is underway. In fact, it actually began on Halloween with candy-laden bags of goodies. By the time you pick-up this paper, Thanksgiving dinner will be on the table with all the trimmings and the sumptuous Christmas and New Year’s party circuit is just around the corner. Factor in the rapidly approaching Super Bowl Chips and Dip Bonanza with Valentine’s Day’s chocolate delights hot-on-its-heel and in just 15 weeks of unbridled feasting, we manage to come full circle – chocolate to chocolate.

For years, the media has bandied about the myth that the average American gains 5 to 10 pounds over the holidaze. However, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the average yearly net gain for most Americans is just over a pound. Not too bad if it weren’t for the problem that the majority of people never lose that pound, which over a decade adds up to an additional 10 to 12 pounds. This “pound-a-year” weight gain is so prevalent in America that the fitness industry has a name for it – “creeping obesity.” Here’s a novel idea. Why not try to keep that pound of fat off this year? Here’s my top ten ways to control your weight during the holidays.

    1.Cut back on your soda intake. If you’re a soda junkie, commit to an every-other-day schedule and you’ll save yourself about 120 to 150 calories per day.        
    2.Avoid dieting. Getting into a deprivation cycle during the holidays sets you up for failure and a season of binging.
    3.Have a wholesome breakfast. A nutritious breakfast will help jump-start your metabolism for the day.
    4.Eat your largest meal of the day before 3 pm so you have time to burn off the calories before you go to bed.
    5.Boost your lean protein intake. Increasing your intake of protein will help reduce your overall calorie consumption for the day.
      Simply put – when it comes to weight loss and maintenance – high protein diets work.
    6.Don’t fall prey to the “fat-free” myth. Most fat-free foods compensate for their poor taste by substituting high sugar content.
       If you have a food craving, eat a small portion of the real deal.
    7.Set limits on your alcohol consumption. A can of beer has 153 calories, a light beer has 110, wine offers up 64 calories per 3.5 ounces,
       one ounce of 80-proof liquor contains 85 calories and eggnog weighs in with a whopping 343 calories per cup. Do the math.
    8.Start an aerobic exercise program or increase the duration or intensity of your current cardio workout.
       A 150-pound person walking at 3.5 mph on treadmill burns 360 calories an hour – get moving.
    9.Add some weight to your workouts. Increasing the resistance in your strength workouts will help boost your metabolism.
  10.Buy yourself a new holiday outfit that prohibits you from gaining a single pound. When it comes to weight loss and weight control,
      there is nothing more motivating than being able to get into your favorite clothes.

Here’s my challenge to you – go get on your scale, right now, and commit yourself to not gaining a single pound over the holidays. I want you to do two things for me – weigh yourself everyday and try on your new holiday outfit once a week.

Get control of the Holidaze feeding frenzy this year so you’re not a 2012 “creeping obesity” statistic.

Cord Prettyman is a certified Master Personal Trainer and the owner of Absolute Workout Fitness and Post-Re-hab Studio in Woodland Park. He can be reached at 687-7437 or