As we gear up for the holiday season I wanted to share some of the tips I use to avoid backtracking on my weight loss goals. As I continue to lose weight, I want to make sure that I can still enjoy my holiday meals without it costing me a couple of pounds. I have a feeling that others are going to face the same struggle, so I have compiled a list of some of the tips I’ve gathered along the way.
Drink Plenty of Water
Now this one is a given. When you drink water, you not only keep yourself hydrated, but also keep your body from the empty calories that juice, soda, and/or egg nog bring. Water also helps with overeating since we often confuse thirst with hunger. That’s not all folks (can you tell that I’m down for the water cause?). Water also helps you remove waste e.g. all of that not so healthy Thanksgiving food that we eat.
Avoid the Seconds or Thirds
Listen to me. Say no to the second and third helpings. Make one plate- and not one that’s overflowing with food. Eat slowly. Enjoy the meal…. and then… back away from the table. I know, I know. This is easier said than done. In fact, this is going to be the hardest thing for me to do. I’m known to take back at least 2 plates during Thanksgiving, and then eat leftovers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until they’re all gone. But remember your goals, and know that 1 plate is enough.
Eat Light The Rest of the Day
Depending on when you decide to have your holiday meal, make sure that the other meals that you have throughout the day are light in comparison. Munch on veggies and fruit, or have a salad. You’re less likely to gain weight off one large meal, than if you were to gorge all day long.
Use a Smaller Plate
When you use smaller plates you trick your mind into believing you’re eating more. Less room on a plate also means less calories going into your body. Enjoy the holiday feast, but just do so in moderation.
Don’t Eat in Front of the Television
When our attention is on the television instead of the food going into our body, we tend to mindlessly eat. We pay little attention to the signals our body gives off to let us know that we’re full. Usually we eat to the point where we feel miserable before we even realize it. Use the holiday meal time to talk to family. Not only will you eat more slowly, but it will also give your body time to let you know when you’re full.
Give Away the Left Overs
Pretty self explanatory. After dinner, make sure that the family takes all of the leftovers with them. This way, the temptation is gone. Out of sight, out of mind.
If Possible, Use Healthier Options When Preparing the Food
If you’re the one preparing the meal, you can easily make simple modifications to make the food a little healthier. For instance, swap heavy cream for lower fat milk and canned vegetables for fresh ones ( which will help lower the sodium intake). Use olive oil instead of butter. Replace all high-fat ingredients with low-fat or fat-free versions and regular sugar with a sugar substitute.
Say “NO” to the Dessert Sampler.
Ok, I know it’s hard to say no to the dessert. It’s hard for me to even type it in this post. So if you can’t live without the sweet treats, only eat a small helping of dessert. Save yourself some of the exercising it will take to burn off all of those calories. Moderation is key.
Avoid Tasting as you Cook
I take my job as “Honorary Taste-tester” seriously. I make sure during holiday time I remain in the kitchen to help taste the food as new ingredients are added. In fact, I usually have a plate of food before it’s all finished cooking. But as I’ve embarked on this weight loss journey I’ve realized that eating as I cook is part of the reason why I gain so much weight during the holidays.
Acknowledge When You’re Full
A lot of people use the holiday time to eat until they’re miserable. In fact most people can attest to having to unbutton their pants after the feast in order to full comfortable. But you don’t have to eat that way to enjoy yourself. Eat in moderation. Enjoy the food in front of you, but remember that you have goals and a weigh in coming up.
Don’t Forget to Work Out
Please make sure that you get a work out in after the extra calories, or at least take a short walk to help digest the food. Trust me, it helps. I usually make it a family affair and get the family to walk around the block with me. You don’t have to walk far, just get the body moving instead of laying around on the couch.
What are some of the tips you use to avoid holiday weight gain? Let me know in the comment section below.