When the Holiday Season Arrives and So do the Pounds

Fertility and Holiday Eating

It is no secret that the holidays are filled with the joyous sights, sounds and smells. From pumpkin pie and Christmas cookies to New Years dinner – this time of year is a food (aka caloric) bonanza.

While some may be able to shred the pounds before February rolls around, other find weight gain (and loss) a constant battle.  The impact of being overweight is monumental when one is trying to conceive and/or struggling with fertility.

PCOS  (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome ) is one disorder which by its’ own definition includes unusual weight gain.  Women with PCOS find it a challenge to lose weight any time of the year, let alone at the holidays!   The same is true for women who have some disorders of the thyroid or have been on steroids for medical problems.

To help get our readers through the holidays in a way that both satisfies your emotional and physical well being we have some strategies.

FOOD glorious FOOD!

We all know that sweets of every shape and size will make their way in to your home or office.  Holiday parties seem to be a time to bring on the chocolate and icing.  Instead of reaching for the whole cookie or cake, consider using the tip of your fork and getting only a bite.  Then fill the rest of the plate with fruit and if there is available some yogurt flavored dip.

Pack some gum or a lifesaver to help with cravings and the urge to chew.

Beware of the salad bar and veggie platters! 

While having vegetables in your salad are a YES, Weight Watchers cautions that a salad can be packed with calories, especially in the form of croutons, salad dressing and processed meats and cheeses.  Use balsamic vinegar instead of dressing or skip it all together. Pack the plate with high fiber vegetables that will fill you up, such as broccoli, carrots and cauliflower. And a few ounces of protein with your meal is a good thing- so go ahead and add a couple of slices of grilled chicken or lean fish.

Did you know that you two regular sodas is more calories than a piece of chocolate cake? 

That is right. The average slice of chocolate cake is 235 calories while two sodas are over 400 calories for most brands! Although both are yummy, neither have much nutritional value.

Also, artificial sweeteners may not be the healthiest option, either.  Best bet- grab some sparkling water (aka flavored seltza water) – add a favorite piece of fruit and enjoy!  (Note those who are attempting to become pregnant or are pregnant need to steer clear of alcoholic beverages!)

Helpful hints by Weight Watchers International:

If you want something – eat it.  A bite or two of what you crave is better than eating everything ELSE and feeling unsatisfied.

Pre-eat.  Eat an apple or have a cup of tea prior to leaving for a holiday event.

Buy don’t bake.  If you are watching your waistline and know you will be tempted to eat the cookies fresh from the oven consider buying not baking that dessert for the office party.

Moderation.  You probably have heard this pearl of wisdom many times, now practice it.

Exercise.   Go for a walk. Take up dance classes.  Surf. Swim… MOVE! (Exercise also has the added benefit of reducing stress which is so very important when undergoing fertility treatments.)

Talk to others.  You are not alone.

Here at the Fertility Institute of Hawaii we can help patients with PCOS and other reproductive endocrine disorders. Talk to us and let us help guide you through this holiday season and all year round.

Happy Holidays!

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