The holidays are on the horizon, and many families are already preparing for festive days with loved ones, socials with friends and co-workers, and rich comfort food. For people who have to be mindful of their health and diet lifestyles this can be a challenging time of year, says acupuncturist Dr. Helen Wang. It is important to maintain a heightened awareness of support tips and methods of treatment such as acupuncture for hypertension to ensure weight gain is not an issue during various holiday meals.
The Holidays – In Perspective
The average American can consume 3,000-4,500 calories in one holiday meal. Even if you are successfully controlling health issues, such as using acupuncture for hypertension or other methods for health-related concerns, eating large amounts of food can be disastrous for weight control and overall health. Add in sugar- and calorie-laden holiday drinks, and you can easily see how frivolous eating and drinking from November through January can more than double a person’s typical suggested calorie intake.
Who Should Be Concerned?
“Holiday weight control should be a priority for everyone,” says Dr. Wang, “but those who have health- and diet-related diseases should be even more concerned about seasonal eating habits.”
- Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is largely complicated by increased consumptions of sodium (salt). Too much salt can increase blood pressure and raise the chances of strokes and heart attacks, the top two causes of American deaths each year. In addition, people with hypertension who consume large amounts of sugar can create and worsen various complications of diabetes.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, is a condition affecting many women. It is a syndrome with myriad symptoms, including weight gain around the abdomen region. Another symptom is insulin resistance, which makes losing weight difficult. This can contribute to obesity or the development of Type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Wang says these two examples show the importance of having a mindset of moderation, especially for those with certain health conditions. “That’s because weight gain can complicate some diseases, maintaining a healthy weight should take precedence when preparing meals and attending holiday socials.”
Solutions for Happy, Healthy Holidays
For people who are concerned about weight gain or who have difficulty losing weight because of PCOS or hypertension, holiday food temptations can feel like a disaster waiting to happen, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are options to help combat unwanted gain and lead to a decline in the severity of symptoms.
- Increasing day-to-day exercise can positively complement meal consumption and significantly enhance the way the body uses insulin. Finding a regular exercise regimen that works for your fitness level and lifestyle is a great way to maintain good health and boost weight loss.
- If irregular periods are an issue because of PCOS, most women find a weight loss of 10–15 pounds could fix the problem. Shedding pounds has proven to be an all-around aid in improving health, as it can also result in lowered blood pressure readings. Hypertension becomes less of an issue when a person maintains a healthy body weight.
- Eating a healthy snack before going to a holiday party can offset binge cravings. Bringing a healthy dish to the party is another way to ensure you have at least one dish you can enjoy with your friends and co-workers.
- Considering an acupuncture plan can help stave off holiday hunger. Acupuncture treatments have been used extensively to reduce appetite and improve weight loss goals. Studies provide strong data that supports positive results for using acupuncture for hypertension, as well as incorporating acupuncture in PCOS treatments.
“Nothing is more comforting than knowing you have options when you’re faced with holiday temptations,” says Dr. Wang. Healthiness isn’t a one-stop shop, especially during the holidays, and most will find they need to custom-tailor their plans for optimal results. Supporting your body with a plan that encourages heart and mind health, with treatments such as acupuncture for hypertension, is essential to enjoying holiday celebrations with happiness and peace of mind.