This holiday season, one doctor wants you to ‘live a little’

The holiday season means a lot of eating, and a lot of overindulging. If you’re looking to keep off those extra holiday pounds, one doctor says you can still eat the cookie.

“There’s so much in our culture where food is used to celebrate things … So completely abstaining from all these things isn’t always a realistic goal,” said bariatric general surgeon Dr. Katelin Mirkin.

Instead of denying yourself, she recommends just being wise.

“I think focus on moderation … You can have a cookie, you just don’t need to the whole plate of cookies,” she said.

“Live a little … within reason,” she emphasized.

Being realistic about body goals — and how you move toward them — is important, Mirkin said.

“Instead of focusing on the number of the scale, how can I, optimize this body that I get to live in for the rest of my life?” she said.

If you’re tired of restricting yourself, she recommends slowly making changes and adding in exercise.

“What I encourage people to do is to start small. If you’re used to not doing anything, you’re not going to run a marathon the next day,” Mirkin said. “But you can start by marching in place while you’re watching TV and watching commercials. You want to shoot for a goal of about 30 minutes of exercise a day.”

Even basic changes can make a difference, she said.

“You can start by cutting out sugary drinks or incorporating a vegetable in each meal,” Mirkin said. “Just like little, tiny things.”

While surgical weight-loss options are out there, Mirkin only recommends them as a last resort. Additionally, she said to always talk to your doctor about options to help you lose weight before seeking help from MedSpas or fad-diets.

Heather Gustafson

Heather Gustafson is a Freelance Anchor/Reporter for WTOP, a DMV native and an Emmy award-winning journalist lauded for her 2020 Black Lives Matter protests coverage.

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