Holidays are a fantastic time to relax, de-stress, explore new surroundings and enjoy time with friends and family. However, holidays are often accompanied with overeating, drinking and inactivity which, in combination, can be dangerous for one’s waistline. EEK! You’ve worked too hard all year for that!
Here are my 8 top tips to avoid weight gain during the holidays…
1) Choose to be active
If you’re traveling for the holidays, being in a new environment provides you with the perfect opportunity to take part in new experiences and activities. Even something as simple as wandering around a new city and taking in all the sites can burn 100-200 calories per hour. If you’re not traveling, you can set a goal to make sure you get your workout in BEFORE the big meal so that you’re set up for success!
2) Be wary of liquid calories
Calories in drinks (specifically alcoholic drinks) are often overlooked or forgotten about. Were you aware that there are approximately 180 calories in a beer, 160 calories in wine, 215 calories in cider and 60 calories in spirits? To put this in perspective, let’s say you choose to have a few drinks with your holiday meal and have a few glasses of wine, maybe even some whiskey – you have easily consumed more than 400-500 extra calories! YIKES!
3) Make smart food choices
Little decisions such as saying no to second helpings or no to multiple desserts can have a big impact on avoiding weight gain during the holidays. I am a full supporter for all things in moderation, and the holidays only come once per year. So if grandma’s pie is something you only get to have once a year, ENJOY IT! But enjoy one slice!
Be sure you are eating plenty of foods high in vitamins, minerals and fiber and limit foods high in sugar and saturated fats. For me, I always make sure I have my superfoods shake at some point during the day BEFORE the meal! Be sure and contact me for info on my superfoods! It has changed my life and my health!
4) Drink water… especially before a meal
Everyone knows the benefits of drinking water and keeping hydrated is extremely important. Recent studies have suggested that drinking water prior to a meal may actually work to suppress one’s appetite, make you feel fuller and cause you to eat less as a result. So, to fight against the urge to overeat, make sure to keep yourself well-hydrated. My nutritional mindset course teaches that you should drink 16 ounces prior to eating to really fill your belly and promote satisfaction so that you don’t overeat because you feel like you’re “starving”.
5) Use a smaller plate
This is another tactic that you can use that may prevent you from overeating. If you can, grab yourself a smaller plate before you fill it with food. The premise behind this is that the food on the small plate will look deceivingly large and may therefore fool yourself into believing you’ve eaten a larger quantity of food than you actually have. This is seriously just a mindset battle, you guys! You’ll be amazed at the shift that happens when you use a smaller plate vs. a massive one.
6) Plan in Advance
Think in advance about your absolute FAVORITE foods that will be present at the holiday meal. Are these things that you only get once per year, or are there foods there that you can easily have anytime? Make choices based on that. Don’t fill up your plate and belly with foods that aren’t super special. For me, I’m not a fan of dressing and gravy, so I don’t even eat them. Or sweet potatoes, I like them and sure they’re healthy, but I can literally have those any time! Now the green bean and corn casseroles… I literally only eat those 1-2 times per year, so I will enjoy those even though they aren’t healthy AT ALL! Ha!
But something about mentally making choices before you even start to fill your plate is so helpful.
7) Keep everything in perspective
While it is important to recognize the impact that food can have on your body, do also remember to enjoy yourself. Have that piece of grandma’s special pie, enjoy it and don’t feel guilty. On the other hand, it can be beneficial to regularly remind yourself of your health goals and the hard work you’ve put in so far this year which will help keep you from falling off the wagon entirely!
8) Become resolute
Increasing your willpower is easier said than done and often temptation can get the better of us. Exercising willpower is like exercising any muscle and your willpower will only strengthen through regular “training”. It is certainly worthwhile doing this as becoming more resolute will make dealing with all holiday-related temptations a lot more manageable. You’ve totally got this!
If gaining weight during the holidays is something that concerns you, I would highly recommend that you work on these methods. Not only will they keep you on track but they may help to form good habits to last a lifetime! And as always, be sure and contact me for more one-on-one help! I’d love to support you!