How many times has the holiday season approached, and you’ve vowed this time you won’t put on the weight? This year, you promise yourself, you won’t indulge in Grandma’s Nanaimo bars and you will only have one healthy serving from the buffet table.
Numerous studies have shown that many people gain anywhere from five to ten pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year, instead of blindly heading to your next big holiday event, keep in mind these tips to help you pace yourself and prevent your dieting efforts from falling by the wayside:
- Sip strategically - if you’re trying to lose weight a major factor preventing you from achieving your goal may be those late night drinks. Alcohol is extremely calorie-dense. In fact, one gram of alcohol has 7 calories. A rum and coke has about 180 calories and a margarita has a whopping 350 calories. That’s more calories than a chocolate bar! And when have you ever had just one drink? If you’re going to have a drink (we won’t suggest cutting alcohol altogether), at least mix it with a diet soda or mineral water. Also be aware that alcohol has the tendency to increase your appetite and cloud your judgment in making healthy food choices.
- Learn to say ‘no’ - friends, family, and loved ones all contribute to making you feel guilty about not eating certain foods. Before you get to the party, remind your friends and family that you want to achieve healthy weight loss and you’re not trying to insult them by not eating the foods they so lovingly prepared. Don’t let others deter your weight loss efforts.
- Fill up before you head out - before you go to any holiday celebration, have a quick balanced meal to prevent you from overeating later on. Have a small bowl of oatmeal with some skim milk or a small salad with grilled chicken. It may sound counterproductive to eat twice, but you’ll feel better and will actually eat less if you arrive at the party already satisfied.
- Chat them up (and away) - rather than standing around the appetizer table and mindlessly noshing on chips and dip or fried shrimp, catch up with your family away from the tempting food choices.
- Get active - ask your friends and family members to go for a walk or do something active. After you’ve eaten, you’ll be able to digest your food so much better if you get outside for some fresh air. Start a family tradition of going skating or taking a quick bike ride after dinner. It’ll get you out of the house, get your calorie-burning on, and most importantly, get you away from the tempting sweets and snacks!
- Think quality not quantity - instead of grabbing a little bit of everything at a holiday celebration; choose the one food item you really crave. Whether it’s your aunt’s delectable pumpkin pie or your mom’s creamy mashed potatoes, choose your favorite, savor every last bite and leave it at that. For healthy weight loss you don’t have to deprive yourself, but rather enjoy your treats in moderation.
- Dress for Success - wear body hugging clothes to your holiday celebrations so you have a constant reminder of how you want your body to remain. It’s easy to overindulge in loose pants that you can unbutton. By wearing something a little more form-fitting, you’ll know you’ll feel uncomfortable if you overeat.