CalorieKing’s Top 10 Tips for Beating Holiday Weight Gain
For those focusing on a healthy lifestyle, the holidays can seem packed with pitfalls. The parties, the rushed schedules, the festive food, and cold weather seem to hit us all at once, and the spectre of weight gain looms as an unwanted gift.
The truth is the holidays don’t have to send you spiraling out of control. Life is meant for living and you can enjoy the best of what the holidays bring. To get through the large celebratory meals, just prepare in advance with a special strategy.
Stay on top of things by keeping your CalorieKing Calorie and Fat Counter close at hand, and use these CalorieKing Top 10 tips for Beating Holiday Weight Gain to help you build your plan now:
- Think 90/10: Don’t deprive yourself completely, or your holidays will be miserable. Aim to eat healthy 90% of the time and then look at your “treat” foods as something to really savor and enjoy in moderation.
- Don’t Go Hungry: Eat regular meals – including a good breakfast! Eating at regular intervals will keep your blood sugar at even levels so you don’t “crash” and feel sharp cravings. It’s when we crash we are most vulnerable to making poor choices. The same goes for parties or special meals – don’t head out the door hungry or you may be tempted to overdo. Eat a healthy snack before you go.
- Avoid Portion Distortion: Food is a centerpiece at the holidays, but there are ways to beat splurging. Remember average portion sizes have grown over the years, so heaping portions you see may seem normal. Pick a smaller plate/napkin to help you limit serving size. Start with the healthy options offered and leave only a little room on the plate for your “treat” foods.
- Don’t use Food to Medicate: The holidays often bring on stress. Avoid using food as a way to deal with your discomfort, or as a “feel-good” reward. Be good to yourself in other ways – go to a movie, take a walk, write in your journal or take a moment for yourself.
- Choose Wisely: Make sure your meals are healthy choices whether cooking or eating out. Avoid deep fried foods, cheesy casseroles, creamy soups and dips, and buttery, sugary desserts.
Remember how to fill your plate – choosing lower calorie foods first. Use your Calorie Counter to inform yourself ahead of time.
- Practice Saying No: The food will be around you whether at a party or at the office. Remember you have a choice to say no to the food – practice declining firmly but graciously or pointing out a healthier option you’ll try.
- Limit Alcohol: If you choose to indulge in alcohol, do so in moderation. Alcohol is not only calorie dense, it loosens inhibitions. This can wreck resolutions to eat sensibly and can lead us to eat eat more and choose less wisely. Consider half portions such as spritzers or alternating your drinks with water. It’s important to stay hydrated..
- Stay Active: Remember to keep up your activity – you can burn off some of the extra calories by dancing, walking the dog, or playing with the kids and their new toys. Make it fun!
- Slow Down: Practice slowing down when you eat. Savor your food and learn to recognize the signs that you feel full and stop when you do. Take some time out to think about your journey towards healthier living and visualize your goals.
- Don’t Give in to Calorie Amnesia: Remember to keep logging your food and be aware of the food around you. The more you record your diet and exercise – even the small things –
themore you will be able to keep on track. Think of it as ten minutes a day you are doing something for you!
The holidays can be tough on everyone and in the chaos of season you may have some missteps. Don’t beat yourself up for your mistakes. Log it, commit it to the past and start over fresh from there. Don’t put off your weight loss goals – thinking “I’ll start again after the holidays.” That’s when the weight will creep on and you’ll have a steeper hill to climb. Stay focused, plan ahead and enjoy the season without the fear of unwanted pounds.
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