Now that we’ve come full swing into the holiday season, busy schedules and holiday parties are beginning to overshadow the healthy eating and lifestyle habits we have worked so hard on the rest of the year. Don’t be consumed by the holiday rush and be tempted to throw your efforts to the birds.
Try using a combination of the following tips from our experts to help you avoid gaining weight through all the shopping trips, family dinners, and cocktail parties that monopolize the month of December.
Think Ahead – Avoid Holiday Eating Danger Zones
- Eat your own healthy meal before you go out to parties or visiting. Make sure there are healthy low calorie choices ready as options (cleaned fruit/veggies).
- Judge your “normal” portion, then only put 1/2 that on your plate.
- Chew gum, use breath spray, or brush your teeth. A minty fresh taste does not mix well with sweets.
- Carry a tissue with several drops of peppermint essential oil and smell this often (shown to reduce appetite).
- Increase your exercise if possible (even if just walking the mall/shops).
- Drink more water, less alcohol or cocoa/coffee/milk beverages. It’s surprising how many calories we drink.
Avoid Gaining Weight this Holiday
Gaining weight over the holidays is common, but it is also avoidable. There are a few simple steps to avoid increasing that waistline that anyone can do to help maintain their figure over the holiday season.
- If you’re going to eat sweets always combine them with a little protein. Adding protein will help temper the insulin release and potentially make that sugary snack not so bad for you.
- Exercise portion control. You’re not going to starve if you don’t eat the entire buffet. So, exercise a little restraint. Try the things you like but don’t feel bad about not finishing your plate.
- If you’re going to drink, slip in a glass of water between each cocktail. Not only will this help fill you up a bit (and potentially decrease the number of alcoholic drinks you consume) but it will also help with your overall hydration and may potentially help you feel a lot better the next morning.
Never Stop Movin’ in Your Body and in Your Life
Go Halvsies: There is nothing wrong with eating those holiday treats, it is all about choices! If you take that cupcake, split it in half and share it! Even try something else and split that too! If you go out for that Holiday meal with your office workers, friends, or family, order one main course for 2 people. Splitting your meals in a restaurant helps you save money in addition to saving calories.
A Good Start: In the morning, start with some fruit. In addition to not blowing too many calories before noon, fruit also helps you clean out your system and get rid of some of the food over-load from the previous meal.
Get Active: As soon as you wake put on those sneakers, have that fruit and start that music going as you clean the house. Cleaning up from holiday guests may also help you burn those calories. As you bend, do it to a beat to keep that heart rate going. Remember, abs in, back straight, and every now and again throw in some squats. You can do these no matter where you are, in the kitchen, making a bed, emptying a garbage can… see? It’s simple!
Written by: Susan Worthington, Gregory A. Buford, & Marina Kamen