The temptations are everywhere. Sweet treats in the break room, office parties, and gatherings with friends and family. It is no wonder we feel a little heavier going into the New Year. The good news is that for most of us the weight gain is minimal. On average we will only add about a pound after all the holiday gorging. Unfortunately, some of us will pick up a few more pounds. Those already overweight are more likely to gain an average of five pounds during the holiday season. More bad news – over the years those pounds can add up. Keep pounds from creeping up on you during the holidays with these tips.
You don’t have to wait until January to start or continue your exercise routine. Likewise you don’t have to go to the gym or even carve out a whole hour to work up a sweat. Aim for 30 minutes at least every other day. You can break this up into ten minute increments so you still have time for holiday fun. Better yet combine exercise with your usual festivities. Wear a pedometer and see how many steps you can get in while shopping, decorating or hanging out with loved ones.
Use small plates
The more we see the more we want to eat. This is especially a problem with holiday tables packed tight with calorie laden treats. Before you choose, survey the entire table and decide where you want to spend your calories. Use a small plate, which holds fewer calories and divide the plate so that at least half is filled with waist friendly foods.
Maintain a regular eating schedule
Don’t skip breakfast and keep plenty of healthy snacks on hand like fruit, nuts or cheese sticks. Planning ahead will help you resist the temptation to overindulge in the break room or food court.
Drink plenty of water
Hunger sometimes masquerades as thirst. Drink plenty of water to help you feel full and to prevent overeating.
Don’t drink your calories
Eggnog, holiday cocktails, soda and other types of liquid calories flow freely at every holiday gathering. Carry water with you everywhere you go and limit or avoid liquid calories.
Weigh yourself regularly
The goal with weighing regularly during the holidays isn’t necessarily to lose or put yourself under undue pressure. Instead, your goal is to be mindful of your weight so that in January it is exactly the same as it was in November.
Finally, it is okay to indulge a bit during the holidays. After all, many of the offerings are once a year treats. The key is moderation. Know how many calories you intend to consume for the day and spread them out between meals, treats and snacks. Don’t forget to count nibbles and bites – they contain calories, too. Happy Holidays!