For many of us, the holiday season signals even more reasons to eat, drink and over-indulge.
Who can resist all of the parties, dinners, gatherings and occasions to celebrate?
Let’s face it!
The holidays are upon us and we couldn’t be more excited!
Most of us love this time of year!
Why shouldn’t we?
Lots of time spent cozied up, surrounded by loved ones in festively decorated homes.
Or evenings spent catching up with friends, neighbors and colleagues!
What is one of everyone’s favorite holiday pastimes?
Spirits are high and family traditions of marshmallow-smothered sweet potatoes abound!
But you don’t want to undo all the work you’ve done this entire year just to say you fully
satisfied your need to fall asleep with a candy cane in your mouth, do you?
Didn’t think so.
Consider your motivation.
So, think back to last year or the year before.
Did you overindulge during the holidays?
Did you gain weight?
Did you feel bloated and guilty and swore to yourself never again?
Well, “again” is coming up soon, so will you do things differently to avoid last year’s results?
Read on and gain a competitive advantage over that little voice inside that’s begging
for just one more bite or mom’s famous pecan pie.
1) Use holiday meals as your planned cheat meal
If you’re on an eating plan you inevitably pencil in your cheat meal.
Plan this around holiday festivities!
Make a plan of action as to desserts too if you will be attending many gatherings.
For example, if you are going to six gatherings, decide at which two or three you will have
dessert and say no to the sweets at the others.
2) Don’t keep holiday goodies in your home
When the party’s over, it’s over. Get rid of any lingering temptation.
3) Do extra workouts during the holidays
Schedule extra workouts during the holidays to counteract the extra calories you may be
eating at all those dinners and office parties.
4) Skip appetizers
Generally, appetizers are fat bombs (think fried foods and sauce drenched meats).
Skip them whenever possible.
5) Opt for alternatives
Being health conscious has caught on so there are numerous alternatives to your holiday
For instance, try almond milk eggnog!
6) Track your food intake
We’re not trying to take the fun out of the holidays, but keeping a food diary and being
honest about what you’re eating will help you say no to that second cookie.
7) Cut your own portions
Sometimes people can be a bit too generous with the pumpkin pie. Cut your own slice.
8) Serve yourself
Same goes with your meal.
Serve yourself to keep unwanted food off your plate.
9) Eat a salad at home before the party
Eat a salad at home before going to a holiday party so you eat less of the fattening foods
at the party.
10) Exercise the morning of a celebration
Typically, it is much more difficult for people to eat huge meals and many sweets after having
worked so hard at the gym.
Workout right before the party, you’ll be less likely to overindulge.
11) Don’t wear stretchy pants!
Wear something form fitting to the party.
No one wants a “food baby”.
This tip may help you keep your eating under control, and stretchy pants make it easier
to over eat, while tight outfits will sound the alarm bells to “STOP EATING”!
12) Skip add-ons like whipped cream
Toppings can add loads of sugar to an already sweet treat.
Skip the chocolate syrup and whipped cream.
13) Leave the leftovers with other people
Mmm…leftover casseroles, stuffing and gravy equal tons of calories!
You had your fill last night, send the leftovers home with someone else.
14) Drink lots of water before a get together
This works year round, but drinking water before a meal will help you eat less.
15) Avoid grazing while cooking
Ask your kids or spouse to be the official taste testers.
You could end up eating a few hundred calories without even knowing it– spread the love!
16) Limit alcohol intake
Imbibing is all part of the fun, but alternate cocktails with water to keep the calorie count
to a minimum, reduce alcohol by making a wine spritzer or mix sparkling water and cider.
17) Stick to your routine
Just because it’s the happiest time of the year doesn’t mean your normal routine is chucked.
If you workout 4 times a week normally, that shouldn’t change.
18) Do a 24-hour juice detox
De-bloat after a night of debauchery with a 24-hour juice cleanse.
You’ll rid your body of toxins and banish any lingering holiday hangover.
19) Slow down on that second plate
Wait a bit before getting seconds.
You’ll probably decide that you’re full and move on.
20) Chew gum
While socializing around a bunch of food it helps to chew gum.
You won’t be able to stuff crackers and cheese in your mouth if it’s preoccupied with
21) Pile on the veggies first
Same as always fill your plate with the “good for your stuff” first to limit room for more
22) Protein second
Ditto the veggie concept with your protein!
23) Set a fitness goal for just after the holidays
Stay motivated throughout the season by setting goals, which require consistent training
like a fun run or half marathon.
24) Just say no!
Easier said than done, but seriously, just say no if someone keeps shoving food in your face.
25) Find an accountability buddy
When you have someone to check in with, you’re less likely to fall off the wagon.
No one likes to call themselves out.
26) Leave early
If you’re not around for dessert, you don’t have to eat it.
It’s important to remember: You might mess up!
For most of us, it takes a bit of the joy out of festivities when you have to watch what goes
into your mouth like a hawk.
Chances are, you’ll drink one too many spiked ciders and find yourself elbow deep in
mashed potatoes at midnight.
If this happens, be kind to yourself and start over the next day.
Having an extra slice of your favorite pie isn’t going to kill your progress.
Slow it down, maybe, but as long as you can get back into the swing of things quickly,
it’ll only represent a temporary setback.
Go out and enjoy your holiday traditions, just don’t let seasonal weight gain be one of them!
Stay tuned for more holiday weight manangement tips in Pt. 2 of
“52 Healthy Ways to Have a Ball Without the Binge!”
What are your favorite ways to avoid holiday weight gain?
Share your tips and suggestions with us.