10 Tips for Preventing Holiday Weight Gain

10 Tips for Preventing Holiday Weight Gain

The holidays can be a true test of your commitment to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle. Maintain your weight-loss journey and avoid gaining back those pounds during the festive season. Make your New Year about something other than losing excess pounds. Consider these tips from the staff of My Fit Body 360.

1. Focus on the whole season

The actual holiday — whether that’s Thanksgiving or Christmas Day — isn’t really the problem. Indulging on all the days in between is what adds a notable amount of calories and breaks your healthy-living habits.

Skipping one day of a workout or overeating on just one day isn’t going to cause you to gain several pounds. But if these habits snowball and last for six weeks, you may add pounds to your frame.

So if you do indulge, get right back on track the next day. Don’t dwell; just move forward with your weight-loss goals.

2. Skip those treats you’re not that excited about

Everyone has their one or two favorite holiday treats. For you, it might be Nana’s eggnog, Aunt Sally’s pumpkin pie, or your family’s famous cornbread stuffing. Enjoy those items — in moderation — and just say no to the other treats and junk food that doesn’t inspire you.

3. Get the whole family moving

Instead of hanging out in the kitchen or in front of the television watching the big game, get moving as a group. Encourage everyone to go for a walk after a celebratory meal. Go snowshoeing in the morning before other visitors show. Host an impromptu dance party for all the kids in the family. Just avoid sitting, and eating, all day.

4. Avoid adding sugar to your vegetables

Look for holiday vegetable recipes that don’t involve honey or sugar glaze. Sweet potatoes with a dash of orange zest are satisfying. Try roast broccoli with sautéed mushrooms. Marshmallows and maple syrup don’t have to top your vegetable dishes.

5. Control temptation

If you take tempting foods out of your house or off your desk, you’ll be more successful at avoiding them. Don’t buy Christmas candy for the “visitors” and keep treats out of your immediate area at work. If someone generously gives you cookies or chocolates, regift them or bring them to the office break room to share.

6. Take charge of your party plate

When you hit the buffet table at a work or social event, have a strategy. Preview the offerings before piling things on your plate, and choose a couple indulgent items you just don’t want to pass up. Then pile up your plate with the good foods — lean proteins and fresh vegetables and fruits. Make a small space for your treats, and stick to just one serving.

7. Don’t head to parties hungry

The strategy of skipping meals to save calories so you can eat freely at a party or big meal later backfires. If you’re hungry while facing a tempting slew of foods, you’re more likely to not manage your choices. You’ll eat anything and everything that crosses your plate. Eat regularly throughout the day and eat modestly at the holiday meal or event.

8. Moderate alcohol intake

Alcohol is a source of hidden calories. Stick to just one or two drinks and make them on the light side. Light beer or wine are good choices. Eggnog, chocolate martinis, and margaritas can pile on the pounds. Plus, alcohol lowers your inhibition so you’re more likely to also indulge in foods you’d normally avoid.

9. Exercise when you can

You may not be able to spend your normal 60 minutes at the gym. That’s OK. Commit to 20 or 30 minutes whenever you can during the busy holiday season. You can even break up exercise into 10-minute segments and still get benefits — go for a quick walk before work and after dinner, for example. A little movement is better than nothing.

10. Use the holidays to socialize — away from the food

Avoid mindless eating by congregating away from the buffet table or move the family away from the dinner table once the meal is done. This way, the food doesn’t continue to tempt you, and you aren’t driven to snack out of habit.

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