The following post was written by Nutrition Services at Woman’s Hospital.
Weight gain around the holidays doesn’t have to be a forgone conclusion.
Maintaining a holiday friendly figure is easy if you simply envision tasty treats as “small gifts” and not feasts, follow some common sense advice, and exercise good manners.
Check out our 10 tips to keep you healthy this holiday season and prevent the winter weight gain.
- Eat! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner because skipping meals may cause you to overeat and consume more calories in the end. Goebel advises that small, healthy snacks throughout the day prevent overindulging.
- Don’t Sugar the Plums! When you’re confronted with pralines and peppermint bark, if you can’t resist, break off a small piece then opt for a larger serving of crudité (raw vegetables) or a piece of fruit.
- Yule-be-tired of dieting! It’s the holidays, so let’s be realistic. You aren’t going to lose weight with all the celebrating. Instead, focus on maintaining your current weight.
- The Cook’s Treat! All of us have “tasted” our cooking from time to time, so why not bring a healthy snacking option to snack on why preparing your meal.
- The Toddy Tons! It’s the season to celebration, but try to avoid alcohol in excess since it’s loaded with a ton of calories and virtually no nutrients. A healthier spirit might be a single glass of wine.
- Elf-sized Entrees! The key to enjoying all of the dishes this season is to choose small portions. If it’s not a sit-down dinner, use a smaller plate so your indulgences appear larger on the plate.
- Size Matters! If you’re invited to dinner, it’s easy to politely fill your plate and not your weight. Fill half of your plate with fresh vegetables and fruit; a quarter with those rich casseroles, and the final quarter with lean meat (white meat is better than dark meat).
- Savor the Seasonings! Every part of the season doesn’t have to be hectic. Slow down, take small bites, and savor those rich morsels. Remember, it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register when you are full and by eating slowly you’re more likely to feel full before seconds or a large dessert.
- Lend a Hand! Instead of sitting around the table chatting, which encourages empty plates to be refilled, when everyone is done eating, offer to help with dishes or take a walk. Walking after eating helps with digestion.
- Holiday Hustle! Work up a sweat this holiday season not just at the mall, but also at the gym. Remember, physical activity can relieve stress and prevent holiday weight gain. Try adding an extra 15 minutes to your workout to avoid holiday love handles in the New Year.