10 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

For more information or help on weight-loss, contact Morris Medical Center in Fort Myers and LaBelle, FL. Call us at (239) 36

Does simply thinking about the upcoming holiday season makes the waistband of your pants feel tighter? Many people worry they’ll pack on the pounds during the holidays, and for good reason. There are endless invitations, events, and festivities that provide unlimited opportunity to overindulge in rich holiday fare from Thanksgiving through the New Year. 

While holiday weight gain is a bona fide phenomenon, you may be surprised to learn that the average adult only gains about one pound from all the weeks of celebration and merriment. 

One pound may seem like a bargain when you consider the heavy meals, tasty treats, and extra calories most people consume over the holidays. But when you also consider the fact that most people don’t ever lose that pound, it’s easier to see the true cost of splurging your way through the end of the year.

Luckily, you can enjoy the holidays and maintain your current body weight. Here’s how. 

1. Keep yourself moving

Staying active is one of the best ways to burn off those extra seasonal calories. Simply taking a brisk 15-minute walk after each meal or extending your current workout routine by 15 minutes each day can go a long way in helping you maintain your body weight through the holidays. 

2. Control your stress levels 

The holidays can be incredibly demanding, but don’t let them get the best of you. Stressed individuals are more likely to crave the kind of carb-heavy junk food that’s offered at virtually every holiday gathering. To minimize your stress levels, stay active (see above), get enough sleep, and take time for yourself amidst all the hustle and bustle.  

3. Focus on fruits and veggies

The holidays may feel like an extended vacation from healthy eating, but allowing them to become one will put you on the fast track to weight gain. To maintain a solid dietary foundation all season long, aim to eat at least seven servings of fruit and vegetables each day. Rich in fiber and low in calories, fruits and veggies help fill you up so there’s less room for holiday treats.  

4. Practice mindful snacking

Delicious seasonal goodies (also known as unhealthy holiday snacks) are plentiful and easy to access from late November through the New Year. Whether you’re at home or at the office, be mindful of your snacking habits. Keep fruit, nuts, and other healthy options on hand throughout the holiday season, and don’t graze on cookies and peppermint fudge just because you can. 

5. Never go to a party hungry

Just as you’d never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, you shouldn’t head to a holiday party when you’re hungry. Eat a small snack — preferably one with some protein or dietary fiber, like yogurt or an apple — before you leave your house so you won’t be tempted to devour all the hors d’oeuvres as soon as you arrive. 

6. Practice portion control 

Whether you’re at a family feast, your annual office party, or another food-centered holiday event, being mindful of your portions can help you keep your calories in check. Ask for a smaller plate if possible, and fill it with a reasonable (not heaping) amount of food. You’re also less likely to overeat — or ask for seconds — if you eat slowly. 

7. Limit your liquid calories

Wine, eggnog, holiday cocktails, and other high-calorie beverages are just as abundant during the holidays as carb-heavy snacks. Rich in empty calories and added sugars, such drinks can lead to quick weight gain, especially if they’re a featured part of every celebration. After one or two drinks per gathering, stick to water and other calorie-free beverages. 

8. Enjoy one “sugar of the day”

With the endless supply of cookies, pies, and treats, the holidays can be particularly tough for anyone with an irrepressible sweet tooth. Luckily, you don’t have to deprive yourself of sweet treats to avoid weight gain — you just have to learn how to truly enjoy them. Allow yourself one wonderful “sugar of the day,” and take time to appreciate that daily moment to the fullest.    

9. Plan ahead and set limits

Any time you add another holiday party to your calendar, ask what kind of food will be served and whether or not you can contribute a dish. Decide how much you’ll eat before you go, and when you’re there, do your best to stick to your plan. 

10. Don’t be afraid to say no

Hosts often encourage their guests to eat, eat, eat at holiday gatherings, but you shouldn’t feel obliged to comply when you’ve had enough. Don’t be afraid to say, “Thank you, everything was delicious, but I simply couldn’t eat another bite!” 

For more information or help on weight-loss, contact Morris Medical Center in Fort Myers and LaBelle, FL. Call us at (239) 360-2709 or request an appointment via the online scheduling tool.

 

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