That time of year is quickly approaching - the holiday season of eating. Between the family gatherings, office parties, school parties, friends-giving or just sitting on the couch eating the last of the cookies that you baked for whatever reason, now is the time of year that can be the hardest to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Don't get me wrong - you should indulge! In fact, regular indulgences are one way to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle. But sometimes the holiday's result in indulgences becoming more routine than we would like. Then one morning we wake up 5 - 8 lbs heavier and wonder, how did this happen? I've been there and let me tell you - it is harder to get rid of those 5-8 lbs that creep up during the holiday's than it is to maintain balance during the holidays.
Here are 4 tips so you can indulge and avoid holiday weight-gain. If you try any of them, please let me know what you think. I'll be sure to get back to you! Follow my blog on Bloglovin.
#1 KEEP EXERCISING OR START MOVING
I don't want to assume you have a regular workout routine. But if you do - stay on track with your current schedule. You may even want to take advantage of some unused vacation days or downtime to try a new class, such as Spin or Zumba. Staying on your current routine will definitely help manage your weight during the holidays. But don't use a strong exercise routine as an excuse to over-indulge! That will be counter-productive!
If you don't have a regular workout routine, try to move as much as you can during the day. I recently got a standing desk in my home office and I love it! Did you know Lifestrong.com reports a 130 lb woman burns about 99 calories per hour standing quietly? That can total 792 calories in 8 hours. You have heard the following advice I am sure: take stairs, park far away from the store and drink more water. But those tips work! You can maintain your weight even during the holidays just by making a conscious effort to move and drink water.
#2 SAMPLE EVERYTHING
The great thing about holiday's is we eat foods that we normally wouldn't eat on an everyday basis. Think stuffed mushrooms, shrimp cocktail, cheese plates, stuffing, cranberry sauce, Brussel sprouts with bacon, pumpkin pie and any dessert you can possibly think of! You don't want to be the only person at the table eating a salad while everyone else is eating the holiday spread. I like trying a little bit of everything because then I feel satisfied and that I had a holiday experience. Plus, there is usually a new dish or two around to try so I get to eat that as well. My definition of a little bit of everything is a tablespoon or two of the food.
#3 EAT 1/2 PORTIONS
Maybe eating a little bit of everything doesn't appeal to you. You may really enjoy eating the basics and don't care to try new dishes. If you are into the basics, try to eat a 1/2 portion. Instead of 4 slices of turkey breast, have 2. Instead of a cup of mashed potatoes and gravy, have 1/2 cup. By eating 1/2 portions, you'll eat all of the foods you love and you won't feel overly full at the end of the meal. Leaving room for dessert!
#4 KEEP YOUR HANDS BUSY
This may seem counter-intuitive because when you are eating, your hands are busy! Am I right? Try this - instead of keeping a plate with food in your hands during a cocktail party, have a glass of seltzer or club soda or water with lemon. Most people are dehydrated, don't know it and mistake thirst for hunger. Keeping a non-alcoholic beverage in your hand is a great tip because you get hydrated and then you can determine if you are really hungry. Nine times out of ten we aren't hungry we are thirsty.
The above 4 tips to avoid holiday weight-gain can be adopted not only during the holidays but anytime. With just a little bit of effort you can maintain your weight no matter what large gathering you are attending. Before you know it, with enough practice, the tips become a lifestyle! Let me know if you try any of the above! Happy holidays and happy eating!