Are You Worried About Holiday Weight Gain?
Gaining weight over the holidays is not the end of the world. The typical amount that people gain is only around five pounds. So you can still fit into your favorite pair of jeans—for the moment. The catch is that even a small celebratory weight gain tends to stay put and accumulate over the years for most adults. If you’ve already put on extra weight, check out the tip on dieting for easy ways to lose it. Meanwhile, here are three strategies to enjoy those yummy offerings, while preventing that holiday bulge.
1) Balance out your calories
If you know you’ll be consuming extra calories at a special event in the evening, adjust the rest of your food during the day. For the record, this does not mean skipping meals, since hunger simply sets you up to binge eat. Instead, focus on fruits, veggies, lean protein and high-fiber grains before celebrating. It also helps to avoid munching on salty and sweet holiday snacks when you arrive at the big event. Save your calories for dinner and dessert.
2) Be selective about food choices
If you’re at a buffet, pick your top three choices then move as far away from the table as possible. In all likelihood, you should feel satisfied and be less inclined to go back for seconds. Sit-down dinners require that you “mind your manners” and sample a bit of everything so as not to offend your host. However, it’s fine to discreetly move most of the high-calorie culprits with cream sauces, cheese, and fillings to the side and leave some food on the plate. The idea is to enjoy the flavors without getting all the unnecessary calories and fat.
3) Practice mindful indulgence
Inevitably, there’s going to come a time when you are face-to-face with a favorite holiday treat or luscious dessert. By all means, enjoy it. But first, take a moment to ask yourself what you are willing to give up in exchange for this lovely indulgence. For example, you can plan to substitute a food choice with fewer calories for breakfast or lunch, or skip lounging on the couch for a refreshing walk or workout at the gym. The trick is to do something you like.
The holidays are a time to relax and have fun. How you choose to navigate the season can help you rejoice without succumbing to the dreaded holiday weight gain. If you would rather let loose and be merry, just get back on track with your regular meal and exercise schedule ASAP—without the leftovers sitting in your fridge.