The holiday season should be enjoyed, but that doesn’t mean we have to overindulge. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, there is an abundance of high calorie temptations. The key to keeping your weight in check through the festivities is portion control. The following are some tips to help you curb the dreaded holiday weight gain.
- Don’t skip meals or go to a party hungry. Many people try to “save” their calories early in the day so can they indulge later. This doesn’t work. You will end up eating more calories in a short time and make poorer choices because you are so hungry. It is best to still eat small meals and snacks through the day, making sure to have some filling protein when you eat.
- Be choosy about the foods and desserts you eat. If you look forward to your aunt’s casserole all year, then by all means have some. But if you aren’t a big fan of mashed potatoes and gravy, skip those calories. The same idea applies to desserts. If you have a favorite dessert, choose that one. If you can’t decide and want to “sample” them all, put them on a small plate so you can make sure you are just getting a sample taste.
- Stay hydrated. We often forget to drink enough water in the winter, and with the holidays being so busy, it is easy to get dehydrated. Often we feel hungry when we are really thirsty, so keeping water near you can help prevent you from overeating.
- Limit alcohol. Not only does alcohol add calories, it also can contribute to eating more and dehydration. Choose lower calorie drink options and limit to 1-2 drinks.
- Don’t make food your focus. Remember it is a time to gather with loved ones, catch up, and have fun, not just eating. Try chatting with family or friends in a room that doesn’t have food. This way you aren’t tempted to mindlessly graze while talking.
- Walk it off. Get the family to go for a walk before and/or after a
meal. This will burn a few calories and
get you in a better mindset to make healthier food choices.
- Exercise regularly through the season. As the weather gets colder, we often slow down on exercise, which contributes to the winter weight gain. Even if you only have 10-15 minutes, make time to get some exercise. It will burn some calories and help keep the stress from the holidays down.
- Weigh yourself regularly. This can prevent weight gain from sneaking up on you and keeps you on track.
- Keep the celebration foods under control. Not only is everyone bringing holiday treats in to work, but then we have all those leftovers to eat up after the celebrations. This can lead to a very high calorie diet for weeks, if we don’t pay attention. Bring in your own healthy snacks and avoid the break room with all those treats. Give leftovers to guests as they leave so you don’t have quite so much high calorie foods to tempt you.
- Get back on track after the holidays. Whether you overindulged a little or a lot over the holidays, get back to healthier eating habits quickly.
Making a few small changes in how you celebrate can make a big difference in how you feel when the holidays are over!
Enjoy yourself, in moderation!