The holidays are a wonderful season for reconnecting with family and friends. It’s also the perfect excuse to count your blessings.
It’s also a time for eating.
Wherever you go, you’re met with a smorgasbord of temptation. Every gathering is accompanied by a buffet of foods that are sweet, savory and everything in between.
If you’re trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, how can you avoid weight gain during the holidays? Use these tips as your guide.
1. Stay Active
During the holiday season, it’s more critical than ever before that you get in some exercise. If at all possible, dial up your workouts a bit. If you normally exercise for half an hour, try 45 minutes instead. Turn your three-times-a-week workouts into exercise on four or five days a week.
Get your family in on the action by resolving not to sit around watching television after a heavy meal. Go for a walk or bike ride instead or get everyone to play ball in the park. Perhaps everyone could sign up to run a holiday race. It’s a festive activity that’s good for you too.
2. Keep Track of Portion Control by Using Smaller Plates
It’s a fact that plates have gotten larger over the years. When given the option, choose a salad plate instead of a dinner plate. Your brain automatically associates all of the white space on a large plate as meaning that you’re taking in too little food. Fool your brain with the smaller plate. You may feel full much more quickly.
3. Get Healthy Sleep
Science has long demonstrated a link between quality sleep and weight loss. Try to avoid too many late nights, and stick to your usual sleep schedule as much as you can. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it’s much harder to avoid holiday weight gain.
4. Focus on Protein
A diet that is high in protein makes you feel fuller faster, and that feeling lasts longer thanks to that quality nutrition. Opt for white turkey or chicken meat. Forego the gravy, or use it only sparingly. Lentils, beans or quinoa are vegetarian-friendly options that help you feel satiated.
5. Choose Fiber
Much like protein, a diet rich in fiber will help you feel fuller. Studies have even proven that a diet that focuses on fiber is associated with lower total calorie intake. At the buffet or dinner table, look for fruits and vegetables as well as seeds and nuts to ensure that you’re getting enough fiber. Choose whole grain breads over less healthy options.
6. Limit Liquid Calories
From eggnog, hot chocolate and soda to an array of alcoholic beverages, liquid calories are everywhere during the holidays. As much as possible, choose water instead, reserving drinks that are packed with sugar and calories for only the most special of moments. When indulging, choose a tall, skinny glass, as researchers say that people tend to pour less into them than they do into short, wide tumblers.
7. Be Selective About Desserts
Ubiquitous desserts go hand-in-hand with the holidays. Resolve to have just one dessert per day during the season. When presented with several sweet choices, make your selection with great care and really savor the treat.
8. Know When to Draw the Line
Set your intentions for food intake before you arrive at a party. Be mindful of your healthy lifestyle goals even in the midst of merrymaking. This doesn’t have to interfere with your enjoyment. In fact, it may enhance your experience by allowing you to focus on your selected indulgences.
For even more tips to help you keep excess weight off during the holidays, contact My House Fitness Oviedo.