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December #obsm chat: Staying healthy over the holidays

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As we head into the holiday bustle, we want to focus our December #obsm chat on challenges around this time of year. Although the media suggest that people gain 7-10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the data suggest the weight gain is actually only about one pound per person. This means that although some of us expect to gain a significant amount of weight or go up a clothing size over the holiday season, that is not actually what happens most commonly. So, rest happy with the knowledge that while we should all expect to gain a little weight, it should only be about a pound or so. Now, armed with that knowledge we can plan around it.

There are a number of common reasons weight gain occurs at this time of year--increased social gatherings (typically with unhealthy foods provided); stress around family matters including gift shopping and traveling; variations from the normal routine. Also, as the weather gets colder for many, physical activity may decrease. These and other factors affect all of us. Thus, it can be very hard (if not impossible) to actually lose weight at this time of year. But we can all focus on trying to minimize weight gain and maintaining a positive attitude.
 
In this chat, we will discuss practical tips and strategies for preventing the seemingly inevitable weight gain around the holidays.

Specifically, we will discuss:
 
How can we avoid making food choices that are not the best for us? Any tips for eating at social gatherings?
What are the best options among typical party foods and drinks? Are there useful sources of protein to be found?
How can health care providers best support patients during the holidays?
How can we maintain an exercise program even when traveling?
How can we minimize the stressors of the holidays that sometimes lead to poor food choices?
What are some possible healthy holiday traditions we can create?

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While each monthly chat is only an hour long, tweets are archived for later review

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