Top 10 Tips on How to Avoid Weight Gain Over the Holidays
For most of us, fully enjoying the holiday season means partaking in dinner parties, baking sweet treats, enjoying desserts, and imbibing in calorie-laden holiday libations. While participating in these extra-festive festivities, we often pick up a few additional pounds. Try to stick with the following 10 tips on how to avoid weight gain this holiday season.
- Drink Water – Staying hydrated is paramount. When dehydrated, people tend to mistake feelings of thirst for feelings of hunger. Be sure to drink plenty of water to avoid this confusion. A glass of water prior to a large meal will also help you digest and feel full sooner.
- Go Easy on the Alcohol – Special nutmeg-dusted drinks featuring whipped cream and plenty of calories pop up everywhere during holidays. While it’s okay to indulge every once in a while, be careful not to overdo it. Not only do these drinks skyrocket your intake of calories, too much alcohol can make you feel hungrier or lose your will power when facing three flavors of pie.
- Relax – If the season has you feeling stressed, be careful not to eat your anxiety. Find other ways to relax so that the next time you feel anxious, you go to the gym or run a bath instead of reaching for another cookie.
- Eat Regularly – Don’t skip breakfast and lunch when anticipating a large dinner. Missing meals slows your metabolism and leads to overeating.
- Choose Protein – The body requires more time to digest and break down protein and healthy fats (like those in nuts), which leads to using the food’s energy rather than storing it as fat. If you eat sweets, try to pair them with a protein.
- Consider Plate Size – When eating off of smaller plates, we tend to serve ourselves smaller portions. Take a small first helping and see how you feel after you have finished.
- Think Before Seconds – Even if you had a small first serving, wait just a few minutes before taking another scoop of mashed potatoes. The brain often requires a little time before it realizes the stomach feels full. If you continue eating, you might over do it.
- Play Your Carbs Wisely – Sugar and simple carbohydrates are at the root of a plethora of health problems. During the holidays, choose your carbohydrates wisely. If you love sweets and don’t want to miss out on that special cake or jelly roll, consider skipping the bread basket at dinner.
- Savor – Take your time to really enjoy a special meal, drink, or dessert. Taste every bite, eat slowly, and savor the tastes of the season. This will ensure you get the most enjoyment out of every calorie during the holidays, making you less likely to really want a second helping of dessert.
- Enjoy – Avoid over eating by giving yourself permission to enjoy your favorite foods.
During the holidays, it’s also good to stay active. Although it’s a busy time of the year, exercise will keep your weight in check and help you stay happy through the season and its extra calories.
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