Maintain- Don’t Gain!

The holiday season is here! It is estimated that adults gain 1 pound during the time between Thanksgiving and New Years and adults who are already overweight or obese gain an average of 5 pounds during that time. However, the average adult never loses that weight…and from year to year…the pounds keep packing on.

Holiday celebrations don’t always have to include overindulgence for them to be fun! Follow some of these simple tips while you are at your next festivity!

  1. Start your day right: Take a walk or sign up for a holiday run so you can burn some calories before the feast. Eat a nutritious breakfast …don’t “save” calories or skip meals because this often leads to overeating. After dinner, you can suggest another walk with family and friends.
  2. Outsmart the buffet: Heading to a buffet for a holiday party? Grab a small plate and make a couple rules for yourself. Only make one trip to the buffet (only put what fits on one plate…no stacking!) Stick to as many simple foods as you can; salad, lean meat and veggies. Watch out for sauces and dips…those calories creep in quickly.
  3. Never arrive famished: Eat something healthy before you arrive (snack on some carrots or have a couple pieces of lean protein). Getting to a big holiday dinner when you are starving is a recipe for disaster.
  4. Bring your own treat or side dish: Offer to contribute to dinner or dessert and bring something healthy! There are plenty of nutritious and delicious recipes that will leave the guests feeling satisfied without even knowing they aren’t indulging.
  5. Limit the cocktails: Give yourself a drink limit and try to stay away from sugary cocktails like eggnog or margaritas. Alcohol will quickly break your calorie bank. Try to stick to two drinks; red wine, champagne or hard alcohol with water/soda water as the mixer.
  6. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will not only help you feel full, but also but will also keep your energy level up.
  7. Avoid the sugar pushers: IT IS OK TO SAY NO! If someone gifts you something sweet that doesn’t fit in your plan…politely thank them and re-gift when you get home, or send it with your nephew…just get it out of the house. If someone insists you try something that isn’t in your plan…just say no. It is OK to be focusing on your health!
  8. Moderation is key: Another way to appease the sugar pushers are to just try a taste. Let your husband, wife, or sister grab the whole piece of pie…and you can just help yourself to a fork full. Or suggest splitting a piece of dessert with a couple of different people…you still get to taste, just not over-indulge.
  9. Focus on Family/Fun: The holiday season is often centered around food, but it is also about getting together with friends and family. Plan to make conversation, instead of hovering around the appetizer table. Remove yourself from the snacking temptation by finding someone to chat with who is sitting away from the food.