Don’t Pack on the Pounds This Holiday Season: 10 Tips to Manage Weight During the Holidays

Holiday Scale

The holidays are upon us. For most of us that means increased socializing, which of course brings with it increased food consumption. One of the biggest quandaries of the holiday season is how to attend all of these social functions and still be able to fit into our clothes when it is all said and done.

Here are some tips to follow so you won’t hate the scale in January.

1. Don’t arrive to a party hungry.

It’s so tempting to conserve calories all day and then pig out at a party. The problem with this course of action is that food at parties tends to be calorie-filled and fattening. Take some preemptive actions and eat a small healthful meal before leaving the house. That way you won’t be tempted to gorge on the food as soon as you walk in the door.

2. Divert your attention away from the food.

Look at social functions as an opportunity to socialize. Keep in mind that you are there to mingle and converse with friends, some whom you haven’t seen in a long while. Keep your focus on the conversations and you won’t miss the food at all.

3. Limit your alcohol intake.

Drinking at a party is often automatic. But, alcoholic drinks are full of empty calories. If you aren’t careful you can easily drink down hundreds of calories without even thinking about it. Set your drink limit at two and stick with it. If you feel like you need to have a drink in your hand, make it water.

4. Cut back on drinking pop, even the diet variety.

Pop contains carbonation that promotes gas and bloating. Opt for some peppermint tea instead. It relaxes stomach muscles and helps to reduce the gas that comes from overeating and drinking.

5. Be choosy about sweets.

Oftentimes there is a wide array of sweets at a party. Avoid the temptation to taste everything and limit your sweets to one or two that you really like. Or avoid the sweets table altogether and bring your own snacks from home.

6. If you are hosting a holiday party and providing the food for it, limit your taste-tests.

Blindly tasting food as your cooking can quietly sneak in calories that you won’t even notice until you’re trying to button your pants the next day.

7. Try eating your water.

Although this might sound weird, it isn’t. Eating foods such as fruits and vegetables that are water-dense can help to keep the body hydrated. This helps everything move through the body quicker and more efficiently. So, even if you over-indulge, you’ll recover more quickly.

8. Get enough potassium.

Potassium helps to counteract the bloating that occurs when too much sodium is eaten. So, if you know you’re going to be eating party foods that have a higher sodium level, getting some extra potassium will help reduce those negative effects. Good sources of potassium include bananas, kiwi, strawberries and cantaloupe.

9. Avoid “morning after” food.

It’s really tempting to dig into the leftover holiday food the next day, but don’t do it. One evening of over-indulgence is enough. Repeating it for days-on-end can wreak havoc on your body. Divvy up leftovers among your guests and get it out of the house. You’ll thank yourself for it.

10. Don’t forget to exercise.

Getting workouts in during the holiday season can be difficult, but don’t skip them. When you increase your calorie intake the worst thing you can do is stop exercising. The more you keep up with your regular workout routine the more easily your body will be able to deal with the over-indulgence and you’ll be able to bounce back much more quickly.

Gabe Arnold
Author: Gabe Arnold