Survive the Holiday Season
Waist management during the Holiday Season
This year, when your social schedule begins to expand during the holidays, your waistline doesn’t have to.During the holiday season, most people attend tons of festive events—and nearly all of them centre around fattening food. Add seasonal stress and zero time to cook or hit the gym, and you have a recipe for holiday weight gain. Well, not this year! Here are some tips to help you survive the hectic holiday season.
Don’t skip meals during the holidays to “save” calories
Parties and gatherings occur throughout the holiday season. Don’t skip meals in an attempt to “save” calories for later. Your body cannot use all of that food for energy at once, even if you are staying within your daily caloric needs. Much will be stored as fat and skipping meals slows down your metabolism.. Stick to your normal (healthy) eating routine to keep your hunger in control. Nosh on a protein-packed snack, such as almonds, low-fat yogurt or reduced-fat cheese, to blunt your hunger before a gathering.
Be mindful of overeating during the holidays and use moderation to avoid weight gain
Overeating one night doesn’t give you a license to blow the day, or the week! Enjoy only the foods that you love, those that are worth the calories.Using moderation really does work. Here are some strategies:
- Don’t sit near buffet tables, candy dishes and cookie-laden platters.
- Excuse yourself from the dinner table when you’ve finished eating.
- Keep your mouth busy by talking with friends and family.
- Chew gum or suck on a sugarless breath mint to prevent picking.
- Enjoy club soda with a twist before/instead of a cocktail to limit alcohol consumption.
- Keep drinking water. It fills you up and helps promote softer younger looking skin and keeps you feeling more energetic.
- If you are famished before a party, try an apple or banana – it’s filling and you are more likely to devour the entire tray of fattening foods when you get there if you deprive yourself. So don’t go in starving.
- While at the dinner/party, practice portion control. Think “kid-sized portions,” and use appetizer plates.
Keep active and exercise over the holidays
Another cause of weight gain during the holiday season is less activity. The best thing you can do is to stick to your regular exercise schedule! Working out keeps your weight down, increases your energy, and reduces your stress. Walk a few extra laps when on your walk or add 20 minutes to your treadmill time. Take the stairs. Park further away and walk.
With alcohol, the goal is to keep both your calories and your buzz under control. A single shot of vodka, gin, or rum mixed with club or diet soda and a squeeze of lime will set you back only about 100 calories. Other standard low-cal options include light beer or wine, most of which have fewer than 150 calories per serving. That’s perfect if you can sip one all night; if you’re the type to make several trips to the bar (no judgements!), try asking the bartender to fill your glass only halfway each time to keep your total intake down. Champagne or pink Prosecco are both great options. Not only are they low on the calorie chart—around 80 to 120 per glass—but they’re also more likely to be sipped rather than guzzled.
Holiday treats: treat yourself and don’t use food as a comfort
Scheduling difficulties, time constraints and last minute errands can make this season very stressful. As a result, it’s important to take time for yourself. Schedule a massage, buy a new book or treat yourself to a yoga class. Find a non-food coping mechanism that will curb your stress. This is the easiest time of the year to use food for comfort. Learn other methods for dealing with stress during this hectic time!
Remember, the holidays are days, not weeks or months. After each holiday, resume your normal healthy eating habits.