Losing or maintaining weight over the holidays can be a struggle. While the average holiday weight gain is about 3% of body weight or 3.35 lbs, research shows that although weight gain can be slight for some, it can also last a lifetime.
“Weight management is complex, and can be particularly difficult during the holiday season,” says Domenica Rubino, MD, founder, and director of the Washington Center for Weight Management and Research in Arlington, Virginia. “Whether it’s seasonal stress, busy schedules, or cravings for the sweet or savory, we understand how personal this journey can be.”
Dr. Rubino’s team of weight management specialists works to develop individualized treatment plans to improve their patients’ health and wellbeing. As the lead physician, Dr. Rubino offers an impressive list of three board certified specializations in Obesity Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, and Internal Medicine. She is joined at her practice by an integrated health care team, including exercise physiologist Rachel Trope, MS, CEP; dietitians Lauren Trocchio, RD, CSSD, CSOWM, LD, Olivia Phillips, MS, RD and Madison Reeder, MS, RD; psychotherapist Raquel Willerman, PhD, MSW, LCSW; and clinical psychologist Maria Mangione, PsyD.
This holiday season, Dr. Rubino’s team of medical specialists combines their expertise to offer an innovative eleven-week, virtual weight-loss support group. The program is designed to provide group support throughout the season with the option of joining via Skype to improve the feasibility of attending. The groups are led by the medical specialists on the team and explore a variety of treatment topics, all based on the top medical research in the area.
“Protein and fiber are satiating or filling nutrients, which means they will help keep you full and satisfied, and they also help prevent the ups and downs that can come with consuming more refined carbohydrates, like sugar,” advises Trocchio. “This doesn’t mean you have to eliminate sugar entirely, but rather incorporate your holiday favorites into your balanced meal.”
“Mindfulness allows for that “pause” when eating or considering eating to decide if you are in fact hungry or not; it gives you a second to make a choice with food in a moment versus being reactive,” says Dr. Rubino. “But more importantly, mindfulness is a tool that can allow you to learn about your eating experiences (without judgment). During the holidays, it may mean the difference between pausing to assess the meal and determine what foods you really want to enjoy versus taking some of everything out of habit.”