The holiday season is here. Whether you are going to holiday parties or celebrating holiday traditions with your friends, family, and coworkers, it is a season when many worry about putting on extra pounds before the New Year. Now, if you are like me, you want to be able to enjoy these occasions without the extra stress over gaining weight. Don’t worry! You can enjoy all three - family, friends, and food - without sacrifice.
According to a recent study by The Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab, people gain on average 1.3 pounds during the holidays. Even though that is not a dramatic gain, research shows it tends to stick and accumulate over the years. Fortunately, that weight gain can be avoided through mindful eating in moderation and a few simple strategies.
- Do not skip meals throughout the day. Resist the urge to “save up” your calories and skip meals in anticipation of a big holiday feast. This practice leads to overeating and making poor food choices. A better plan is to eat small meals and snack throughout the day. Choose foods that are high in fiber such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Portion control is key. Don’t deprive yourself from your favorite holiday dishes. Instead have a smaller amount. One trick is using a smaller plate. It allows you to put less food on your plate and encourages proper portion sizes.
- Incorporate nutrient rich foods in your meal whether it’s a leafy green salad, asparagus, green beans, or other healthy options that are available at your holiday party.
- Include physical activity in your day. This can include going to the gym. If your gym is closed during your holiday, create a simple workout that you can do from home or go for a walk. Plus, you can make exercising fun with your family by putting on some holiday music and having a dance party in your living room with your kids or your siblings!
- Make sure to drink water. It it provides hydration without unwanted calories and it helps flush wastes from the body One good strategy is to have a glass of water after every drink you consume (whether beer, wine or cocktail). Remember, alcohol has calories too..
Just because the holidays are here doesn’t mean you need to make eating your mother’s casserole or your dad’s honey glazed ham a concern. Use these useful tips and you will be fully able to enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones. For more information, go to health4mom.org.