It’s holiday time friends, and that means all our favorite foods are lurking around every corner. Eggnog, chocolate, pies, cakes, and all those delicious treats lay waiting in the grocery store, at parties, and even delivered to your door by sweet neighbors. So, how are you supposed to say no to such tempting holiday fare? Well, you’re not- sort of. Here are five ways you can combat holiday weight gain while still enjoying the season!
1. Drink your water.
I’d dare to say that most of us don’t drink enough water. Since our bodies are mostly made up of it, it’s important to drink enough water to keep our bodies healthy. I had to use google to see what the daily recommended intake is, and found that Mayo Clinic suggests adequate intake for men is 3 liters (about 13 cups) a day, and for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. Drinking that much can be difficult when you’re on the run or really busy, so one of my favorite things to do is use a fancy cup or bottle.
This allows you to monitor how much you’re drinking, and having a full container out in view is a good reminder for you to drink. As an added bonus, drinking water throughout the day and especially before meals makes you feel fuller, helping you keep your food intake lower. Sometimes when you feel hungry, it’s your body’s way of telling you you’re really thirsty, so drink, drink, drink.
2. Veggies first
During the holidays veggies are definitely moved to the back burner- either that or they’re doused in butter or cream sauce. Move them to the forefront by loading your plate with fresh veggies, putting out a relish tray at a party, or keeping a bowl of cut produce handy while you’re baking those cookies.
It’s just as easy to snack on carrots while you’re visiting with friends as it is to mindlessly pop M&M’s in your mouth. I’ve learned from experience that if it’s there, people will eat it. Whether it’s vegetables or sweets, having easy access means the grazing will happen.
3. Portion control
Sometimes it’s not so much what you eating as it is how much of that thing you are eating. Take a look at this:
You go to your big box store and buy an enormous bag of candy. If you open the bag and leave it on the counter, or even your cupboard, you’ll probably start to grab a few every time you walk by. By the time you go to bed, who knows how many of those things are sitting in your stomach! A great way to keep track is to divide a portion for the day, and then stick with it. You can have the candy, but you can’t have half the bag.
4. Stay active
This might seem like a no-brainer, but we tend to be more sedentary in the colder months purely because we don’t want to go outside. If you live in a more temperate climate, lucky you, you can do some exercises at the park. But if you live somewhere cold, you’ve got to get creative. This calls for dance parties in the living room, running your stairs, house-work exercises, or just getting to the gym. It’s hard, but you can do it, and you must do it if you’re going to have that piece of pie.
5. Indulge, then stop
It’s so easy to feel like you can’t eat anything if you want to keep the weight off. Restricting yourself sometimes makes you binge even worse, or makes you feel deprived. Here’s a time when you can have that fancy dinner, and then maybe share a dessert with your date.
If you know you will be going to a party in the evening, make sure to drink your water, eat your veggies, and get some exercise. Then have some hors d’oeuvres, a glass of your favorite beverage, and that creamy pasta dish, but don’t beat yourself up about it. No one wants to go to a party and be the person who “can’t have” the food that has been prepared, and frankly, no one wants to go to a party with that person either!
With these five simple hints, you’ll be able to work your way through the holidays without the scale going up, but you’ll be happy while you do it. The holidays are a time to enjoy the people and things you love, so stop thinking about your weight and have some fun!