The holidays are a wonderful time. Many people in the Houston, Texas, area are spending the season with family and friends at holiday gatherings and parties. However, with this season comes a multitude of unhealthy foods that can lead to weight gain which, according to the National Center of Biotechnology Information, (1) can worsen pain felt in the back. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we believe that no one should spend their holiday season suffering from spine pain due to weight gain, so we’ve listed some tips on how to avoid the holiday pounds and protect your spine this season.
- Snack Smarter
When choosing a snack this holiday season, it can be tempting to reach for cookies or other sweet holiday treats. These sweets are loaded with sugar which has been linked to a high body weight, according to Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health (2). Skip these foods this holiday season, and reach for some fruit or another healthier snack option.
- Reduce Your Stress
While the holidays are often filled with fun events, it can also be a stressful time. Between holiday shopping and making time in your day to do other holiday activities, you may find yourself feeling a bit more stressed than usual. According to the National Center of Biotechnology Information, stress stimulates the secretion of cortisol that is linked with weight gain (3). Keep yourself as stress-free as possible this holiday season to avoid weight gain that can cause back pain. Treat yourself to a massage or try engaging in a hobby that helps you reduce your stress level.
- Get Enough Sleep
When spending time with friends and family or attending Christmas parties, it can be easy to fall behind on your sleep schedule during the holidays. Avoid weight gain this holiday season by making sure to make sleep a priority. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, studies have suggested that sleep deprivation may lead to weight gain (4).
- Eat Plenty of Protein
If you’re having friends or family over for a holiday dinner, make protein the main dish. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, protein promotes the feeling of being full (5), which can help prevent holiday over-eating. Serve turkey or chicken to provide a delicious meal that can help prevent weight gain and protect your back from pain.
The holiday season is a wonderful time filled with family, friends, and fun events. However, it can easily cause weight gain that can exacerbate back pain. Houston Physicians’ Hospital’s Spine Solutions Center can eliminate your pain and get you back to doing the things you love. Give us a call at 832-340-2134.