Avoid weight gain during the Holidays – 10 Tips to win the Battle of the Bulge going into 2017
- DO NOT save your appetite for the big celebration. Logically, people think they would eat less calories in total for the day if they just skip breakfast and lunch to save up some calories for the a family dinner, holiday party, or night out. This strategy will almost certainly backfire because you will go into the get together hungrier to normal and it will be nearly impossible not to over indulge. Most of Holiday parties and celebrations are full of snacks, desserts, alcohol, heavy foods, and other items that can easily add up hundreds of extra calories in no time. Eat according to your normal schedule and you will be much more likely to not over indulge.
- Focus on protein and fiber when you pick your foods. If you fill your plate with veggies, salad greens, and protein you will feel way more satiated and will have consumed less calories than if you had chosen starchy foods like potatoes, pasta, or bread. The volume of food on your plate is higher with proteins and fiber rich foods. It will allow you to feel fuller while consuming less calories.
- Eat and chew slowly and give yourself a little extra time before deciding to grab seconds. Sometimes the body takes a little while to register feelings of fullness. If you are able to slow down and really enjoy the food you have chosen and wait 15-20 minutes after you are done, more often than not, you will feel satisfied. When people immediately go for seconds, it is very easy to overeat and feel stuffed. Save yourself the extra calories and pump the brakes for just a little while after dinner.
- Drink adequate amount of water. Drinking water can help you feel satisfied and keep you from consuming extra calories. It is actually pretty easy to misinterpret thirst for hunger. Stay well hydrated and you will get better results and avoid weight gain this Holiday Season.
- Be careful with alcohol. It is ok to consume a little at a celebration, but be cautious. Alcohol not only adds additional empty calories, but it also reduce your inhibitions and can lead to irresponsible eating. We all love a glass of wine, champagne, eggnog, or a favorite cocktail and consuming in moderation won’t completely derail your progress. Look up how many calories you are consuming with each drink and calculate how many miles you would need to jog or how many burpees would be needed to break even. That may help you budget your drinking accordingly.
- Track your caloric intake. You can use great trackers like myfitnesspal, fitbit, etc. to track your entire day. This will give you awareness about how many calories you are consuming and can even be used to proactively plan what you will want to eat and drink at a Holiday party.
- Plan a few extra vigorous exercise sessions. It is true that you can not out run your fork, but a few extra workouts can help you budget for a couple of additional Holiday treats. Also, why not put that extra food and calories to work to help your body recover and avoid weight gain.
- Set realistic goals. If you have a particularly busy Holiday season or if you are not willing to sacrifice the drinks or treats, then maybe the goal should be to maintain weight through the Holidays. Set some goals based around being more active and limiting portions. Using smaller plates can help with keeping portions to a better size.
- Invest in Tupperware. Not in the company, but in some extra storage containers so you can send the leftovers home with your guests. They will appreciate it and this will help you keep on track during the days after your events.
- DO NOT “start over on Monday”. Have you ever noticed that every diet starts on Monday? Don’t let one small transgression turn into many days of over-eating. Everyone has days that are far from perfect. People that ultimately succeed get back on track quickly and forgive themselves. Weight loss is not a sprint, it is a marathon. We want to slowly change habits that will allow you to lose the weight and keep it off, that takes time.
I hope this was helpful and there was at least one tip that will help you avoid weight gain this Holiday Season.
Happy Holidays from P4P!