Worried about packing on the pounds during the holidays? It can be tough to stick to healthy eating habits during this time of year, especially with all of those holiday parties to attend. There are some things you can do to prevent holiday weight gain.
- Don’t arrive hungry: If you’re going to a party have healthy, filling snacks before you leave home. Try something with a little bit of protein and fiber, such as toast with peanut butter or fruit and yogurt. You will be less likely to overeat later.
- Don’t drink your calories: Have low calorie drinks such as diet sodas, light beer, or a wine spritzer. Punch, eggnog, and mixed drinks can add a whopping 500 calories per drink!
- Focus more on not gaining any weight: Continue to exercise and indulge in your favorite holiday foods in small portions. Depriving yourself will not make the holiday season enjoyable. Eat slowly and savor every bite!
- Have a snack: If you're going to a party, have a healthy, filling snack before you leave home. Try something with a little bit of protein and fiber, like toast with peanut butter or yogurt and some fruit. You will be less likely to overeat later.
- Don't hover: Try not to hang around the food area at a party. Once you get your food, walk away! Focus on your friends and good conversation, not the food.
- Get moving: It may be hard to find time to work out during the holiday season, but it is important to stay active. Kick up your workout plan. If you exercise for half an hour a day, increase that to 45 minutes. If you work out three times a week, aim for four to five workouts during the week. Maybe when you are out shopping for gifts you can walk a little faster, or park further away from the store.
- Shift your focus. Focus on friends, family and socializing more than the food. Plan fun activities that don’t involve food such as Christmas decorating, playing games, or taking a tour of the homes decorated for Christmas in your neighborhood.
It is possible to enjoy the holidays and still maintain a healthy lifestyle. Remember, the most important thing is moderation. You don’t want to take the fun out of the season by depriving yourself. So indulge in your favorite treats in small portions and keep moving-you’ll keep the pounds off for sure!
Erika Watson-Lawson, MSH, RD, LDN is a registered dietitian with Memorial Hospital.