Trying to get through the holiday season without gaining a few pounds? Try some of these helpful hints!
1. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the extra activities that we lose time to take care of ourselves. Many people go into the holidays thinking that they will just enjoy the food and activities and worry about healthy eating and/or weight loss in January. The average American gains 7-12 pounds between Halloween and January 1!! By the end of the holiday season some find that their clothes are a bit tight and they have gained weight. As of this writing, January 1, 2017 is 26 days away. Take a look at a calendar – any calendar – and put a mark on each day that has a holiday party, event, or the holiday itself! Then count the days that there are no events. For example: Between now and January 1st , 2017 I have 3 holiday parties, 2 major holidays, and 4 family events. That is 9 days that I may potentially want to enjoy holiday treats. However, that is also 39 days that I have to maintain good, healthy eating habits!
2. Plan ahead – Most folks who celebrate the holidays add even more things to their already busy schedule. Plan ahead by cooking and freezing foods that you and your family enjoy. You won’t be tempted to go through the drive-through and you’ll also save money!
3. Special Holiday foods – Some foods are only traditionally served around the holidays. Because of this, we tend to eat as much of it as fast as we possibly can, thinking that it is going to be a whole year until we get it again! But keep in mind that if you have Aunt Sarah’s recipe for one of your favorites you can make it any time of year. I’m not encouraging you to make high sugar/high fat foods every day, but knowing that you can, can make all the difference!
4. Be present when you eat – If you are eating Aunt Sarah’s pie which is your very-favorite-food-in-the whole-wide-world, enjoy the way it looks, the way it feels in your mouth and savor the flavor of each bite for as long as you can!
5. Alcoholic beverages are high in calories - choose wisely. Here are just a few examples:
- White Wine – 184 calories for 8 ounces.
- Red Wine - 200 calories for 8 ounces
- Margarita – The average margarita is served in a 14-16 oz glass and contains about 46 calories per ounce. That makes calorie intake 644 to 828 calories for one drink!
- Brandy Alexander – 507 calories for 6 oz
- Egg Nog w/Brandy – 6 oz egg nog with 1.5 oz brandy is approximately 430 calories
- Baileys Irish Cream – 1 ounce (about 2 Tablespoons) is approximately 110 calories
6. Move! – Not only does taking a 15-20 minute walk help relieve the stress that comes with the holidays but it also burns calories and helps with digestion. Every little step counts!
7. Don’t skip meals - This backfires because you may go to an event over-hungry and eat more than you intended. Munch on some high fiber veggies or have a nice salad prior to leaving the house.
8. Bring a healthy dish to pass - If you are bringing a dish to share, make it healthful and delicious. That way you know there will be one thing you can munch on without racking up calories to fast!
9. Don’t hang out near the food - Socialize a distance away. This will help to avoid unconscious nibbling.
If you're nervous about any holiday weight gain, schedule an appointment to visit our nutritionist, Kim!