It’s pumpkin season. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin loaf, roll, cheesecake, pumpkin spice lattes, and my favorite pumpkin cream cold brews are plentiful.
Are pumpkins not your thing? How do you feel about apples? Maybe fruits don’t cut it for you. How do you feel about decorative cookies? Welcome to the holidays. It should be a daily occurrence.
So what is the cost of pumpkin season, thanksgiving feasts, and holiday eggnog? About a pound a year. On average, Americans gain a pound a year over the holidays.
At first, this does not appear like much, but neither does pecan pie. But most Americans do not lose weight after the holidays but gain weight. So in 10 years, you have gained 10 pounds from 10 festive seasons. No wonder reunions can be cruel.
What does this mean? Do we forsake the holidays and let go of tradition? Of course, not. Instead, we learn to accommodate, not just react.
Some people in this world do not find sweet and savory treats appealing. They actively prefer organic, non-processed foods with as few ingredients as possible and avoid less healthy options. I applaud these people. I am not one of them. I like food too much and look forward to hot apple cider and going trick r treating with my kids.
There is another group of people you may consider healthy or fit or whatever term you prefer. They adjust how much they eat or exercise around high-calorie snacks and meals.
For example, a pumpkin spice latte is 25 minutes on the treadmill for me. What does this mean? A 16-ounce latte is 300 calories. I compensate for extra calories in my diet. But what if you have no time for exercise today but are trying to stick to a 2,000-calorie diet? My pumpkin spice latte goes along with a 200-calorie protein bar for breakfast is part of my 500-calorie breakfast. One thousand five hundred calories to spare on the way to 2,000. More calories to play with if I exercise.
Simple math is the key to not packing on the pound(s) over the holiday. Sound hard? Let me give you an alternative, eating on credit. The proposed benefit of a credit card is to buy now and pay later. However, the problem with a credit card is accumulating debt and interest. Your health just is the same way. If you don’t accommodate for the holidays, you will be left with the debt of gain weight. The interest you pay is the health conditions associated with weight gain over time.
For this holiday season, have a plan when you are staring down a caramel apple or pumpkin fudge or start a love affair with chocolate. But don’t let it be a New Year's resolution. At HealthyU Clinics, we're here for U if you need help with that plan.
To schedule an appointment, contact us at 602-491-0703 or schedule online here.
By: Alexander Dydyk, DO
Director of Pain Medicine