The holiday season is a wonderful time of the year complete with beautiful decorations, time spent with family, and delicious food, food, and more food! The average American will gain 5 – 8 pounds during the holiday season, but you can avoid this trend if you follow some simple tips.
Don’t deprive yourself. Some of us will refrain from eating all day so we can enjoy Grandma’s holiday dinner and homemade pecan pie. Fasting all day will lead to gorging at dinner time. Instead, try to eat light meals earlier in the day that are high in fiber with some protein. You will feel fuller longer and resist the urge to gorge.
Take it slow. When you do begin eating, take your time. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the signal that your stomach is full.
Prioritize. It is OK to indulge in some of your favorites, but don’t feel like you have to sample everything. Limit yourself to those treats you really enjoy, but control the portion size. Try noshing on fruits and vegetables or other healthy options, and avoid high calorie sauces and dressings.
Stay hydrated. Make sure you are drinking enough water. Water will keep you feeling full without any calories. One cup of eggnog can have over 300 calories and 21 grams of sugar! If you are drinking adult beverages, alternate with a glass of water.
Increase your activity level. Try to stick to your regular exercise routine. If you can’t make it to the gym during the hectic holiday season, find other ways to increase your activity level such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking at the back of the lot when shopping.
Stay away from your comfy clothes. Wearing snug fitting clothing gives us a tactile reminder not to stuff our stomach.
Enjoy the holidays! If you do over indulge one day, don’t be too hard on yourself. Try making healthier food choices the next day and head to the gym. Have a happy, HEALTHY holiday!