Sure, the holidays are upon us. But this does not necessarily have to translate into a death sentence for your waistline. Family get-togethers, parties, food, gift baskets, cookies, and eggnog… the list of indulgences seems to be endless! Did you know that it’s not uncommon for people to gain 5-10 pounds or more between Thanksgiving and New Years? There are so many temptations and it’s almost sacrilegious not to partake in some or all of them.
Worried what the holidays will do to YOUR body? Well no need to fret because I’ve got five things that if followed, can help you make this your healthiest holiday season ever!
- When going to the holiday parties, use a small plate and eat half portions. Let’s face it; it’s very easy to overdo it when so much good food is put in front of us. A good way to avoid overeating is to use a small dessert sized plate for your main course, so even if you fill it up, it will generally be half the amount that you would normally eat had you used a normal dinner sized plate. And please do not be tempted to go back for seconds!
- Keep your body moving. One of the keys to staying in shape is to exercise and keep the blood flowing. But if a difficult schedule and travel keeps you from going to the gym during the holidays, sometimes we need to be a little more creative. Try to get your exercise in by doing things such as picking a distant parking spot and walking. And if you can walk instead of jumping in a taxi, a bus or a train, go ahead and do so. If possible, take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. You will be surprised how much exercise you can get in when you skip some modern conveniences.
- Limit your alcohol consumption. OK, I am not going to ask you to become a teetotaler during the holidays, but let’s face it… alcohol is fattening. Very fattening! So try your best to limit your drinking. One simple trick is to make a deal with yourself that when you drink half of a beer, you will discard the rest of the bottle. And remember how fattening those holiday drinks such as eggnog and other sweet drinks can be. Use a small cup, say “Cheers” to family and friends, but that’s it!
- Stay away from the dessert tray! This is everyone’s weakness because we all love dessert. But as you know, desserts are packed with sugar, fat and calories! If there is any way you could avoid desserts completely or just take a “spoon sample,” you will be doing your body and your waistline a tremendous favor.
- Stay hydrated by drinking more water. This is one of the best “tricks” to help keep the weight off during the holidays. When it’s cold outside, we tend to drink less water. But believe it or not, we still lose plenty of water through sweating in the winter, even when we sleep! So if you can make it a point to keep drinking fresh water throughout the day, you will not only keep yourself properly hydrated, you will keep your stomach fuller which will in turn help to keep the edge off your hunger. And no, sodas do NOT count!
The holidays are definitely fun times and granted we are constantly tempted with plenty of good food and drink. But by keeping these simple tips in mind, I am fairly certain you can make it through the season and perhaps come out healthier and thinner than you ever would have thought! Happy holidays!