Marika Wamback, BSc. R.D.
Registered Dietitian l
How to Avoid the Dreaded Holiday Weight Gain and Elastic Waistbands!
With the endless amount of treats, goodies, parties, and celebrations during the holidays, weight gain can become a reality. I’ve had many a client joke about having to get pants with elastic waistbands! It can be tempting to enjoy so many delicious holiday treats and overwhelming to manage weight and CKD at the same time. After all, weight management is an important part of CKD management.
Did you know that weight loss is the number one New Year’s resolution? So, how can you realistically prevent the dreaded weight gain during the holidays and avoid having to set weight loss goals after the New Year?
Try these simple tips and tricks to help you stay on track!
1. Out of Sight, Out of Mind:
There is some wisdom to this saying, ‘if there are no treats around, you most likely won’t go looking for them’. Avoid purchasing and preparing foods that you know you will be tempted to eat. Having tasty treats easily accessible is an easy way to overeat, which can affect your weight, blood pressure, and electrolytes.
2. Don’t Skip Meals:
You may want to ‘save room’ for your holiday events, but this only leads to overeating. Eat regularly according to your renal diet, and enjoy your holiday event by choosing your foods wisely. This will enable you to manage your CKD needs.
Make time for your exercise regime during your holiday festivities. Keep it as an appointment to yourself for your CKD health needs. Exercise will also help you manage the stress and demands of the holidays.
If part of your CKD health plan is to keep track of your weight, be sure to weigh yourself at the time you and your renal health care team have chosen. Increased sodium and fluid intake can increase fluid retention, affecting your weight, kidney function, and blood pressure. Limit your sodium intake to no more than 1500 mg/day. This will help reduce thirst, which will help you control your fluid intake.
If you follow a fluid restriction, choose your fluids wisely to prevent increased fluid intake. Avoid alcohol, high sugar and high sodium beverages, which can make you thirsty.
6. Renal Diet Food Choices:
Choose your holiday foods according to your renal diet. Remember to watch the portion sizes. Skipping the meat and cheese platter, choosing renal friendly fruits and vegetables, and indulging in a treat or special dessert only at a holiday festivity are easy ways to avoid excess calories and weight gain and prevent electrolyte imbalances.
7. Stress Management:
Increased stress can lead to emotional eating. Make time for yourself over the holidays to manage your stress. Learn how to destress without turning to food. Some healthy coping mechanisms are reading, exercising, listening to music, taking a hot bath, and meditating. Avoiding stress overeating will help you manage your CKD and the demands of the holidays better.
8. Bring a Renal Friendly Food:
On Kidney Chef, you can find many renal friendly recipes that you can bring to your holiday event. Choose one that you know you will enjoy making, bringing, and eating.
Plan ahead and pack your medications to take with you. Not taking medications as prescribed can greatly affect your CKD management. Health issues like electrolyte and mineral imbalance, increased or decreased blood pressure, high or low blood sugars (if diabetic), are just some of the risks associated with not taking your medications as directed.
If you have End Stage Renal Disease and are on dialysis, always attend your regularly scheduled treatments. Skipping treatments is never a good idea, especially during the holiday season. If you need to change your dialysis treatment time or day, contact your dialysis clinic immediately.
Be sure to consult with your renal team if you have questions or concerns about your holiday schedule or events, particularly if you are traveling. By being proactive, you can enjoy your holidays, manage your CKD, and skip the elastic waistband.
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