We have all endured the intense ‘food coma’ after inhaling Christmas dinner. Being surrounded by all of the traditional calorie-rich holiday foods like stuffing, gravy, cookies, pies, Yorkshire pudding, and eggnog. Over-indulging is a very common issue throughout the holidays. Maintaining your weight over the holidays may be difficult, however, it can be done! This post will provide you with tips to ensure you don’t gain weight over the holidays.
1. Don’t skip meals.
Skipping meals doesn’t help you take in fewer calories, in fact, it more often does the opposite.
Your body goes into starvation mode and you end up gorging on food which turns into overeating. Aim to eat smaller portions and healthy snacks during the day.
2. Use a smaller plate.
Holiday food already contains more fat, sugar and calories, so there is no need to fill up a plate as big as you’re used to.
3. Fill up with salad and vegetables first.
By loading your plate up with vegetables first, you fill the space that would otherwise be filled with unneeded carbs, sugars and fats. Plus, eating more vegetables will help to balance your blood sugar.
4. Eat rationally.
5. Limit yourself to one helping.
I know, easier said than done, but because traditional holiday foods are so calorie-rich, it’s not necessary to have multiple helpings.
If you follow the tips above, especially the third one, it shouldn’t be as hard. Look on the bright side, the less you eat, the longer you will be able to have the leftovers!
Another large reason for holiday weight gain is not being active enough. Exercising not only helps to keep the weight off but also keeps your immune system strong. Staying active can be pretty difficult. You want to spend time with your family and the weather outside isn’t very inviting. However, there is fun to be had if you are willing to bundle up.
1. Play in the snow.
Whether it’s your kids, grandkids, nieces, or nephews, kids in the family are always full of energy. Instead of having them drive you crazy by running all over the house, take them outside! When was the last time you built a snow fort? Had a snowball fight? Made a snow angel? Built a snowman? Exactly! And I’m guessing it’s been just as long since your siblings have as well. These sorts of outdoor activities are perfect for reconnecting with your family (of all ages) and can be a great way to stay moving.
2. Go for a walk to look at the Christmas lights.
Bundle up the family and take a walk around the block. Looking at Christmas lights can be fun for everyone from the kiddos to the grandparents, making it a great way to get in some exercise while bonding with your family.
3. Go tobogganing.
Tobogganing is fun for the entire family and is a perfect opportunity to get in some cardio, especially when you end up carrying or pulling the kids up the hill.
4. Go ice skating.
Whether the family teams up for a game of hockey or just does their own thing, skating is a great way to burn off calories while having fun as a family.
The last thing you should watch over the holidays is the amount of alcohol you consume. I know, it’s not easy with the back to back parties and family stress, but the calories build up quickly. When you're drinking a lot of calories, you gain weight. The recommended amount of alcohol consumption is 1 drink (5oz) for women and 2 drinks (10 oz) for men. Make sure you add water into the rotation or even try soda water with lime or cranberry juice to lessen the calorie intake.
Holidays are a special time for friends and family to get together, so make sure you enjoy it and have fun. Happy Holidays!
Want to learn more tips for maintaining your health and weight over the holidays? Connect with me here.
Contributed by Hayley Dechaine
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