The holidays are often associated with decadent treats and savory, but high calorie foods. This often leads to unwanted weight gain, but it doesn’t
have to. Following a few simple steps can help you stave off unwanted pounds while still enjoying the holiday festivities. Check out our list of
do’s and don’ts.
Do: Have a Plan.
One major key to success is being prepared and having a plan. Big office party this weekend? Plan ahead by moderating
(not restricting) your calorie intake for a few days leading up to it. The difference between moderating and restricting is that moderating
means limiting portion size, but not excluding any specific foods. Restricting is when you eliminate entire food groups (e.g. dessert).
Restricting is more likely to lead to a binge and feelings of guilt and more emotional eating.
Don’t: Starve yourself the day of a party or event
This will only set you up for failure because you will be overly hungry when presented
with a buffet of food and more likely to overeat. Be sure to have a balanced intake instead.
Do: Fill up on vegetable dishes, lean proteins, and lighter fare before having richer dishes.
This way, you are already somewhat full and
less likely to overdo it on higher calorie options, but you can still enjoy sampling if you wish.
Don’t: Stand next to the food.
Try and mingle with friends and family, and walk around the room rather than standing in the kitchen or
next to the food table. This way you are less likely to mindlessly snack.
Do: Drink plenty of water.
Oftentimes, dehydration can be confused with hunger. Sip water throughout the day and during the gathering to
keep hydrated and help you feel full.
Don’t: Drink alcohol on an empty stomach.
If you know you will be consuming alcohol, be sure to have a healthy meal beforehand and
alternate alcoholic beverages with a glass of water to slow yourself down and stay hydrated. By limiting alcohol intake, you are more likely to stay in
control of your decisions around food. Alcohol lowers blood sugar, which results in hunger and potential overeating (due to lack of inhibition);
therefore, it is especially important to moderate alcohol intake if you want to keep within your calorie target this holiday season.
Do: Offer to bring a healthy dish (or two!)
This will ensure that you have something healthy to eat at all holiday occasions.
Don’t: Stress about every bite.
Keep in mind that the holidays are about family, friends, and being thankful, not about food, so find a
balance between enjoying yourself and having those special treats that are reserved for this time of year. “Letting yourself go” for a few weeks
is what results in holiday weight gain, and it will be harder to get back on track in the long run; therefore, if you do happen to slip up, just
remember to get right back on track at the next meal.