04 Dec 5 Simply Tips to Avoid the Holiday Weight Gain….
People tend to over-indulge, and it’s estimated the average person consumes around 3,000 calories on a special day. For many people, that can be two days worth of calories in one. The extra fuel comes from chips and dips, alcoholic drinks, fancy hot drinks and lattes, cookies, fudge and deserts laden with fat and sugar.
So it’s key to have a game plan and stick to it……
Potluck or Buffet Style
Acknowledge that some forms of eating are more hazardous than others, namely the potluck.
For the Potluck, or buffet, practice the fly-by method. This involves walking the table first without a plate. Assess the options and then picking four items. Grab a small plate, divide it into four sections and then select four food items. Make sure at least one choice is a vegetable and one is a good protein source, and try to avoid creamy sauces. This enables you to really evaluate what you are going to eat instead of piling your plate high with some of everything.
Develop a plan for eating out. Going online and reviewing the restaurant menu (and nutrition info if you know how to decode it accurately) beforehand can help you make healthier choices. Never go to a restaurant starving! Being hungry in a restaurant, with wonderful aromas and delicious sounding morsels on the menu, is never a good thing for those watching their calories. For example if dining out for dinner, at minimum have an adequate breakfast and lunch. Do not “save” calories for dinner. This is a definite recipe for disaster and you will over eat! When not arriving to the table hungry, provides you more self-control (not will power!)
Holiday Treats at Work
Holiday treats seem to infiltrate the work place at this time of year. Chewing gum, sucking strong mints, or sipping herbal teas can help distract you, and make sweet things taste a little off (well, in theory). Hydration is also important. We often mistake thirst for hunger and worry more about hydration in the hot summer months, but hot stuffy offices and homes can also be dehydrating.
Eating regular meals and snacks will not leave you as vulnerable to the junk food in the break room!
Remember to be as physically active as you are able, not only to keep the calories in check, but also to help reduce holiday stress, which can lead to overeating of those sugar-laden snacks. I recommend to my clients to cut down exercise to 30 minutes rather than avoid due to the crazy holiday schedule.
Exercise can boost your immune system, which is also important this time of year. Daily walks are great, followed by a juicy fresh orange to top up your vitamin C.
Revamping recipes to trim the calories is an easy fix to reduce the guilt and the energy load while still enjoying the traditional holiday favorites. During the holidays, we tend to eat more starchy foods (dressing, sweet potato/pumpkin pie, potato salad, mac n cheese, rolls, etc) Ensure you plate has vegetables on it as well! This is the key tip, leave the meal feeling as if you could eat a little more – NOT STUFFED! Remember the only thing stuffed at the table should be the turkey.
Also, eating turkey does NOT make you sleepy – overeating makes you sleepy. Another food myth that has been carried down for generation to generation.
Family traditions, special dishes and treats can be enjoyed in moderation. Having a game plan, portion control and recipe modification can help reduce the caloric burden and the guilt.
Eat mindfully and ENJOY family, friends and food. Remember, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Birthdays, Anniversaries are only ONE day. Don’t stress about your weight goals. It’s what you do on the other days of the year that really matter!