No one wants to be part of the group who gains 5-10 pounds over the holiday season. But how can it be prevented? Yes the obvious, don’t overeat. But that’s much easier said than done. Here are a few tips to maintain your weight over the holidays but still enjoy the festivities! And remember — always be MINDFUL when eating, especially during the holiday season.
- Bring a healthy side dish to the party — at least there will be one healthy option to add to your meal. But make sure you enjoy the dish you’re bringing too! Here are a few ideas if you’d like to get creative . . . a Turkey Veggie Tray From Princess Pinky Girl or Eating with Food Allergies , or a simple Christmas Veggie Tray from Betty Crocker. (Image above from Princess Pinky Girl) (Image above from Eating with Food Allergies) (Image above from Betty Crocker)
- When you are choosing which food to eat at a party, pick one or two that you know are indulgent, then fill the rest of your plate with healthier options. When you’re attending a party, focus on the people not the food, and make only one plate for yourself (avoid grazing all evening).
- Plan BEFORE you party: eat before you go to a party — you may have heard this tip a million times. (That’s because it works!) If you are starving when you get to a party, you’re much more likely to overeat, which exaggerates the holiday weight gain issue.
- Drinks — alcohol calories add up quickly. Did you know that your average long island ice tea or margarita has about 550 calories? That’s about the same amount as a Big Mac! How about the popular craft beers? Many of them are at least 200 calories for a 12 oz bottle. You can still enjoy alcoholic drinks, but alternate between alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic beverages to help you drink less. Or share a drink with your significant other or husband (like I do) which allows you to still enjoy beverages but only half the calories!
- Keep up with your exercise routine — or start one. Yes, the holidays usually are very busy for everyone, but scheduling your workouts around other obligations will not only help you stay in a routine, but will help ward off unwanted pounds (add it to your calendar like you would a doctor’s appointment — and KEEP the appointment!).
- Baking — who doesn’t like to bake around the holidays or at the very least, receive delicious holiday goodies? If you’re the type who bakes cookies to give them out as gifts but can’t help but sample a bit too many, then package them up immediately in gift containers and put them out of sight. You’ll be less likely to keep sampling them if they are not in plain sight. (I personally love to bake all year round, but I can’t resist the temptation of cookies being in the house very long. So my strategy is to bag them up in one large zip-lock bag (which goes to my parent’s house within the next day or two) and I keep one sandwich size bag for my family to enjoy — PORTION CONTROL!
- Have someone (e.g., a friend/significant other) help keep you accountable! Whether it be that you report to each other what you’ve eaten the previous day, or better yet, if you’re competitive like me, create a weight loss or weight maintenance challenge over the holidays.
Hopefully these tips will help you ward off those unwanted pounds over the holidays.Please share what works best for you, I’d love to hear your ideas!