Halloween candy, pumpkin spice everything, turkey with cranberry sauce and dressing and don’t forget Christmas cookies galore! How on Earth can a person survive all these goodies? As the holiday season approaches here are some tips to help you avoid holiday weight gain.
· Get plenty of sleep. Trying to get ready for the holidays on top of your normal daily routine can be exhausting. Make sure you’re getting at least eight hours of sleep a night.
· Make a commitment. Avoid waiting until the new year to make healthy changes. Start making small changes now so you’re ready to spring into the new year.
· Be content with imperfection and avoid stress. Some people have images of the perfect holiday gathering which can lead to a lot of unnecessary stress. Spend your time enjoying the company of others instead of making everything “perfect”.
· Drink water and avoid liquid calories. Drinking plenty of water helps you feel fuller whereas some beverages such as alcohol, sodas, and eggnog all contain extra calories and sugar and can cause cravings to increase.
· Get active. Instead of sitting around, get active with your family. Go outside for a hike if the weathers nice or stay inside but play a game that’s gets you up and moving.
· Make recipes healthier. Substitute applesauce for vegetable oil in baking recipes such as brownies or try mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes.
· Bring a “safe” dish to gatherings. Going to a pitch-in can be nerve racking so make sure you bring something you feel good about eating. And don’t be afraid to pack food either. Sometimes I’ll pack food just in case I can’t find a healthier option that I’m okay with.
· One serving on a small plate. By using a smaller plate, portion sizes look bigger and trick your brain. By limiting yourself to only one plate and not going back for seconds you can eliminate a lot of extra calories.
· Protein and Fiber. Focus on filling your plate with lean protein and fiber. These foods will help you feel fuller and keep you on track.
· Draw the line. Decide what you’re going to eat and how much. Draw the line and know when enough is enough. Once you’re done, you’re done.
· Have fun! Holidays aren’t about food. Enjoy spending time with your family and friends.