Holidays are a time for family, friends, fun, and delicious food. Unfortunately, that delicious food can lead to unwanted weight gain. Most Americans only gain one to two pounds from Halloween until New Years, but they never end up losing the weight they do gain over the holidays. Rather than struggling to lose the extra holiday weight, here are five tips so you can avoid gaining the weight in the first place.
1. Don’t go to parties hungry.
Between work and friends, our calendars can fill up with holiday parties this time of year. If you have a party to attend, make sure to have a healthy snack before you go. You’ll be less likely to fill up your plate with potentially unhealthy party foods. If you’re not able to grab a snack, drink water before you eat to satiate some of your hunger.
2. Set a rule for sweets.
The holidays are well-known for their delicious desserts. Christmas cookies are a staple in many homes and are often readily available. The same goes for pies, candies, fudge, and more. It’s practically impossible to avoid them altogether, so set a rule for what you will allow instead. For example, you’ll have one cookie after they’re made, but no more after that. Or, fudge will be the only sweet you allow yourself every so often and everything else is off-limits.
3. Start a new family tradition.
This time of year is rich with traditions for most people, and adding one more won’t hurt. Make it a family tradition to take a walk either before or after dinner. Getting everyone up off the couch and moving will help you all feel better, get you away from the food, and burn some extra calories.
4. Serve food like a restaurant.
The common image of a holiday meal is piping hot, delicious food filling the middle of the table, and everyone is seated around it helping themselves to what they want. Rather than be tempted by staring at a giant bowl of delicious mashed potatoes all meal, dish up the plates in the kitchen and leave the food there. When your plate is cleared, take a moment to decide if you want seconds. Having to get up to get a new plate of food can help decrease how much you end up eating.
5. Be mindful of what you drink.
Enjoying holiday drinks like eggnog, champagne, and wine in moderation is fine. However, not only do these drinks contain unnecessary calories, but after a couple of them, you may start eating irresponsibly and consume even more calories.
The holidays are certainly a time to enjoy yourself, but don’t think that can’t be done while still being mindful of your body and weight. Follow these tips, and the many more you can find online, to avoid gaining that dreaded extra holiday weight.