You’ve worked hard to either lose weight or maintain your weight all year long and if you are like most, you probably worry that the effects of holiday eating will have negative results the next time you climb on the scale. From added stress to multiple holiday parties, all centered around food, how can you enjoy the holiday season without gaining weight from all of the tempting treats?
Keep Physical Activity a Priority
Although the holiday season often entails demands and deadlines, leading to a shortage of time, make it a priority to keep physically active. While you’re out shopping for holiday gifts, park the car as far away as safely possible to get in some exercise as you walk to the store. Plan on attending the gym at least three days each week and avoid making excuses as to why you can’t.
When Hosting Parties
When hosting holiday parties, focus on fellowship and friends instead of food. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have any treats available, but don’t prepare so much food that you’re tempted to gorge and/or graze for the remainder of the evening.
Eat before You Go
To avoid overeating at a holiday gathering or eating too much of the wrong foods, plan to eat before you go. Have a protein shake, which is low in calories and fat and high in protein. Protein shakes are filling, which will make it less tempting to overeat while you’re at holiday parties.
Over the course of the holiday season, it’s very likely that you will be invited to a variety of get-togethers, all centered around food. While you can focus the parties that you host around fellowship and friends, accept the fact that most parties will be centered around food and plan your course of action by establishing limits. Allow yourself a set amount of food at each event, trying to only eat healthy foods. Instead of letting the food table tempt you, get up and move around as you talk with family, friends and co-workers. Research shows that people who place food on their plates and sit down to eat their meal will eat less than those who graze the food table, standing as they munch.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
From champagne and wine to eggnog and mixed drinks, alcohol is often served during holiday gatherings. In 1 cup of eggnog, there are approximately 343 calories, 19 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 35 grams of carbohydrates and 22 grams of sugar. In addition to your meal, drinking a few glasses of eggnog can quickly put you over your daily caloric recommendations, leading to weight gain.
Don’t Use Food as Gifts
Instead of staying in the kitchen and baking cookies, breads, muffins and other types of holiday goodies to give your friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors, consider giving a gift that will not require you to have such close contact with foods that are likely to be tempting for you to taste-test. If you want to give foods as gifts, consider using a company that specializes in sending baked goods for gifts.