It’s a fact that Americans gain about one to two pounds during the holidays. This may not sound dramatic, but according to the research it adds up over the years.
Still, there are ways to avoid holiday weight gain. Consider these 5 tips
Tip #1: Don’t Skip Meals
If you are “saving” your appetite for a big holiday party or feast, rethink that decision. Skipping meals during the day may result in overeating. I know this because I’ve done it many times, and it never worked out very well for me.
It is important to have breakfast. Research shows that those who eat this important morning meal tend to consume fewer calories throughout the day. Include lots of fiber by eating whole fruits (not just the juice!), vegetables, beans, legumes, and, perhaps, a few whole grains. Fiber-rich foods are high in volume and will satisfy hunger, but are lower in calories. Fiber-rich foods are high in volume and will satisfy hunger, and provide many other benefits, but are relatively low in calories. For more about the many benefits of fiber, click here.
Tip #2: Eat Small Portions
Holiday meals tend to be large, buffet-style, and include second and third helpings. While you might not eat a whole cake, a common mistake is eating large portions of food that are perceived as healthy. It’s important to include nutrient-rich foods in your diet. Remember, though that these foods have calories as well and should be eaten in moderation. Using this approach at the holiday dinner table will allow you to maintain the healthful eating plan that you strive for. Then enjoy a modest serving of dessert.
Tip #3: Pick a Strategy to Avoid Overeating – and Use It!
There are many such strategies from which to use that can be a big help in this area. Use a smaller plate, for instance. Putting less on your plate encourages proper portion sizes. Fill your plate with vegetables and salad before going to the entrees and desserts. Eating a salad before your meal can help you eat fewer calories overall. Eat slowly, mindfully, savoring every bite. See more here about mindful eating.) When your plate is empty, wait 10 minutes to decide if you are really hungry. This allows (your brain time to get the message that you are satisfied and don’t need more food.
Tip#4: Keep Moving
After dinner, get some physical activity. Go for a walk and catch up with some friends or family members, or join the kids for some catch or a game of basketball. A little movement after a meal does wonders for your digestion and keeps you feeling bright and energized rather than looking for the best nap place.
Tip #5: Visit with a Certified Health Coach
If you miss the mark this year with your own best intentions, contact me afterward to get 2019 off to the best possible start. With incremental changes to your diet and lifestyle in one of my coaching programs, you’ll be in great shape to politely refuse Aunt Sally’s push to fill your plate again at the next big feast. Contact me right here for an absolutely non-binding 15 minute get acquainted call.
With just a few strategies, you can avoid holiday weight gain while still enjoying friends, family, and the holiday feast.
I wish you and yours the Happiest of Holiday Seasons!