Even during the best of times, many of us struggle not just to lose weight, but to keep from gaining additional weight. When you add the holiday season into the mix with its endless string of parties and sweets, you have a recipe for disaster – unless you have a plan.
At Weight No More, we specialize in practical, physician-supervised weight management solutions, so we know how difficult the holiday season can be if you want to keep from adding a few pounds. Here are 10 of our best tips for avoiding weight gain this holiday season:
1. Snack carefully
Unhealthy snacks like cookies are often available during the holidays. You can keep them out of sight at home, but when they’re out at work, be aware of their presence and try to substitute fruits, nuts, and seeds instead.
2. Watch your portion sizes
It can be easy to overload your plate at holiday gatherings. You don’t have to avoid the food altogether – take small portions to enjoy. One good tip for this – use a smaller plate when they are available.
3. Practice mindful eating
It can be easy to mindlessly eat during the holidays, so try the opposite. Minimize distractions, focus on what you’re eating, and chew slowly and thoughtfully. It might even help to take a few deep breaths before you begin eating.
4. Keep your stress levels low
The holidays can be a very stressful time, which causes your body to release higher levels of cortisol, which can lead to weight gain. Try to keep your stress levels under control (it’s okay to say no to people), especially when you’re surrounded by unhealthy food that could lead to stress eating.
5. Go to bed
Sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain because if you don’t get enough sleep, you can be hungrier, and your metabolism will slow down. Try to stick to your bedtime, even during the busy holiday season.
6. Don’t drink all your calories
Plenty of alcohol, soda, and other high-calorie beverages are readily available during the holidays, and it can be easy to drink them without thinking, which can add lots of sugar and empty calories to your diet. Be aware and skip these kinds of drinks.
7. Get a buddy
Success is usually more accessible when you are pursuing a goal with someone else. You can celebrate achievements together and stay accountable to each other when things get tricky. Find a buddy and your chances of success increase.
8. Plan ahead
If you know you’ll be attending a holiday party where you have to bring a dish, have a list of healthy holiday recipes, so you know you’ll have something good to eat while you’re there. If you’re not sure what they’re serving at a party, ask the host so you can determine if you need to bring your food.
9. Go easy on the taste-testing
You will likely be doing more cooking and baking during the holidays, so be careful of too much taste-testing. Even small bites can add up to more calories. Also, make sure you’re not hungry when you’re cooking.
10. Stay active
Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you should quit your regular exercise routine. Stick with the system you already have. If you need to miss a few times for traveling, that’s understandable. Just try to get a few walks in with your family and friends instead of sitting on the couch for hours on end.
At Weight No More, we’re excited to help you keep an eye on your weight during the holidays. If you need guidance as you undertake this effort, feel free to contact our office in Newport Beach to set up an initial consultation so we can help you reach your goals!