The holidays are a magical time of year! People tend to be filled with joy, generosity, and love. There are more get-togethers and celebrations during this period than any other time during the year. While these celebrations are certainly fun, it is also important to be mindful that it is very easy to put on weight during this time. To help you navigate this time of year, I put together a list of 10 tips to help you avoid weight gain during the holidays. And, yes, I know they work because I have used these tips myself and even continued to lose weight during this most tempting time.
1. Don’t skip meals- It is important to not change your eating habits. It is a myth that skipping meals will save you calories. The truth is that you are doing the opposite. You will end up eating more because you will be so hungry that you are more likely to overeat and miss the signal that you are full. So, eat as you normally would.
2. Exercise- It is important to maintain your exercise routine. We all know that summer bodies are made in the winter! Keep moving and you are less likely to pack on those pesky extra pounds. Being fit and healthy is a lifestyle so you must commit to it.
3. Stay hydrated- It is important to drink plenty of water especially during the colder months to flush the body of toxins and to keep your skin healthy and moisturized. Water will keep you feeling fuller and you will less likely snack mindlessly. Most people confuse thirst for hunger so keep that in mind next time you are reaching for the junk.
4. Indulge but not all at once- It is okay to have an indulgent treat occasionally. You shouldn’t deprive yourself because that can lead to binging and an unhealthy relationship with food. Just remember moderation is key and don’t indulge in everything. Pick the item you really have your eye on and try to make healthier choices when it comes to the other items you eat.
5. Don’t celebrate all month long! From Thanksgiving to New Years can be a fun but dangerous stretch of time. On average, people tend to put on between 5 to 10 pounds during the holidays without much effort. Celebrate those days, not the entire month plus! If you stick to your regular habits the rest of the month you should not have to fear the dreaded holiday weight gain.
6. Try recipes that are healthier versions of your favorite treats- If you have some old favorites that you absolutely enjoy, see if you can find healthier/lighter versions. A lot of times ingredient substitutions can be made and you would never know the difference. The only difference will be the number of calories!
7. Remember your goals- If you have been currently trying to lose weight, don’t let the holidays derail you. It is easy to make excuses and say I’ll get back to it after the holidays. You will be sorry if you do this. You will be more likely to overindulge and will most likely gain weight. You will have reversed the progress you have worked so hard to achieve.
8. Limit alcohol- As much as an alcoholic beverage can be relaxing and a social lubricant for some, it unfortunately only brings empty calories. If you are looking for a good starting point, this would probably be it. For me, I would rather eat my calories than drink them!
9. Be the host- When you host, you control the menu. You can decide what you will be serving and you can make sure that there are healthier options available. Plus, when you are hosting, you tend to eat less because you are so busy entertaining your guests.
10. Remember what the holidays are about -The holidays are about gratitude and spending time with loved ones. You should be thankful for all that you have and that you have another year to enjoy. Time is a gift that can’t ever be replaced so make sure you are using it wisely.
Hope these tips help you! Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday season!