Thanksgiving is known as the day when many people overindulge in everything from turkey to a slew of equally appetizing side dishes and other goodies. Though there is nothing wrong with an occasional no-holds-barred meal, holiday weight gain can actually turn into an unexpected source of back pain. Taking a few precautions during this time of family gatherings can ultimately be a good thing for your spine. The professional physicians at The Spine Institute Center in Los Angeles have a few tips that may help you prevent back pain after a big Thanksgiving meal.
1. Trick Your Mind
One study found overestimating how much weight they would gain from appetizers helped participants stick to their diets. Do the same during your Thanksgiving Day gathering and minimize your consumption of the food being passed around.
2. Don’t Come to the Get-Together Hungry
Though you may be in the habit of “saving your appetite” for a big holiday meal, doing so can make it harder to avoid snack trays and result in a fully loaded plate when dinner is served. Instead, opt for a healthy snack or a light lunch earlier in the day.
3. Minimize Alcohol Consumption
Alcoholic beverages served up during holiday gatherings can range from 100 to 200 calories. If you have a few drinks before the main meal, this can mean consuming too many calories in a relatively short period of time, which is something your body can’t naturally process. Treat yourself to one drink, but switch to water during the meal.
4. Don’t Hold Off on Exercise Until January 1st
Many people get into the mindset that pounds packed on during the holiday season can easily be shed in the new year. Realistically, motivation can quickly fade as you get back to your normal routine. Strive for 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a day now to compensate for holiday indulgences. You can even avoid the rush and sign up for a gym membership in November or December for days when it’s too cold to exercise outside.
The problem with going overboard for Thanksgiving is that Christmas is also just around the corner, which usually means office parties and other group gatherings where calorie-rich foods will be served. If you do indulge, compensate for it by getting some exercise and being mindful of what you eat in between celebrations.
Back pain resulting from eating too much is not usually serious enough to require surgery. However, chronic pain caused by other sources may need deeper evaluation. At The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration, Dr. Hyun Bae and his team of spinal surgeons can diagnose the cause of your pain and determine the best plan of action for treatment. Start down the path to a pain-free life today by calling us at 310-828-7757 and scheduling an in-person consultation.