Avoid the Holiday Weight Gain!
It’s hard to believe that we are already heading into the holiday season! It is an exciting time, however it can become a dreaded season for individuals trying to lose weight (or maintain weight for that matter). Many people fear the unwanted pounds that often come with high sugar and high fat holiday food.
The fact of the matter is that the holidays DO NOT have to be scary. If you pay attention to portion sizes and choose your “treats” wisely it IS possible to make it through the holidays without gaining a pound! What matters the most is the total amount and types of food you eat over several days. Read on for holiday tips!
- Scope out all of the food options prior to loading your plate
- Pick out the foods that you really like or would want to try
- Try rating food on a scale of 1-10… ONLY EAT 9 and 10’s!
- Remember, you can have some holiday treats, but just watch portions and choose wisely
- When you go to holiday parties offer to bring a healthy dish
- Eat slowly to increase your ability to recognize when you are full
- Never stand while you eat…sit down and enjoy it (studies show we tend to eat more when we stand)
- Leave the table shortly after you are done eating… try socializing away from the food!
- Don’t stand by the buffet or snack bar
- Hold a glass of water or crystal light to keep your hands occupied and unfocused on food
- Keep those alcoholic drinks to a minimum…they add up! (more on alcohol)
- Do not leave the house hungry, try having a string cheese or piece of fruit prior to leaving for a holiday party
- Do not skip meals to save calories, this action typically increases your chances of overeating at the next meal
- Concentrate on socializing, making new acquaintances, and having fun
- Choose your social situations wisely, do not put yourself in uncomfortable settings or with people who cause undue stress
The funny thing about holidays is people grab for food that they usually never select. It is important to remember that just because the food is available it doesn’t mean that we are obligated to eat everything! What I’m trying to say is do not eat the gingerbread boy if it’s pumpkin pie that you desire… remember only eat 9 and 10’s on your rating scale. Small changes can save your daily calorie in-take, a simple meal comparison below demonstrates how your choices can greatly affect your calories.
Regular Egg Nog vs Sugar-free Fat-free Egg Nog
Recipe of the Month
More Healthy Recipes!
Exercise idea for the Holiday Season
Here’s the deal, what I am about to tell you is incredibly simple and it makes all the difference in the world! MOVE MORE!! I know, I know… you’re typically a busy person and now your adding holiday shopping and cooking and hosting and ahhhhhhh.
Where’s the time to move more or fit in exercise? My best advice is to invest in a pedometer that will track your daily movement. Your exercise can then become mall walking, parking further away at shopping centers, and taking the stairs (don’t you dare let me catch you on an escalator!)
All of these extra efforts will pay off at the end of the holiday season when your skinny jeans still fit! Below is a pedometer tracking sheet and can be used for motivation and allow you to be conscious of your daily steps. Shoot for 10,000 steps on most days and enjoy your stress free workout!
Feeling motivated? More quick Kick-Butt Cardio Workout perfect for the holidays!
Spread the Health!
As a health professional, it always makes me think about appropriate gifts for the holidays. Food is always tempting for a holiday gift (or anytime really), however I challenge you to choose gifts that do not revolve around food!
Spread the health…check out the gift giving ideas below for non-food, fun options!
- Healthy cookbook
- Subscription to a health and fitness magazine...love Fitness Magazine
- Exercise video tape or gym membership
- Session with a personal trainer or Wellness Coach
- Books on tape for a portable way to read and walk
- Sports wear: shoes, shirts, shorts
- Wii Nintendo games (i.e. Wii Fit)
- Fun exercise equipment like the Bosu Ball...my favorite
- Herbal teas
- Assortment of spices
Snack Attack Snack Ideas
Snack ideas...like I have said before, this is where we lose it. A handful here, a handful there…it all adds up and still leaves us hungry and unsatisfied. I don't believe in depriving ourselves in an effort to get back into those "skinny jeans". Having said that, I still believe we have to make smart choices.
This can be the confusing part. Those labels can be confusing and the catchy marketing techniques can be misleading. For this reason, Lindsey and I have done the hard work for you. We have read the labels, tested them and picked out some snacks that will satisfy your cravings without derailing your weight loss efforts.
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"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
John Bingham, running speaker and writer