What comes to mind when you think of the holidays? If you said food, you are correct. No matter the holiday, people find reasons to overeat. Turkey, ham, burgers, pecan pie and cookies galore. In fact, according to national studies, holiday eating results in a 1-2 pound weight gain per year. With the aromas of delicious food and the pressure from Aunt Sue to eat the last wing, it’s hard to maintain your figure, let alone lose weight during the holidays. Fear not! There are ways you can control the amount and kinds of food you eat. By following the ten tips I’ve provided, you can stay healthy through each holiday season.
1. Make time for aerobic activity! Working out can help rid yourself of holiday stresses and prevent the weight from piling on. Try just a 15-minute walk or run once a day.
2. Don’t skip meals. Before you leave the house, nibble on some veggies and hummus or a handful of almonds to keep hunger at bay and you won’t be as tempted to over-indulge on junk food.
3. Eat until you are satisfied, not when you are in a food coma. Eat slowly and eat small portions.
4. Watch your drinks! Alcohol induces overeating and some drinks have as many as 500 calories per glass. Non-alcoholic beverages can also be full of calories and sugar.
5. If you overeat at one meal go light on the next. It takes 500 calories per day (or 3,500 calories per week) above your normal consumption to gain one pound.
6. Stop focusing on food. Make cookie making time into making crafts with family, playing cards and stay away from the kitchen/grill!.
7. Cook your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering. That way you know at least one food item you know is healthy.
8. Do some research on how to prepare holiday dishes lower in fat and calories. Substitute these ingredients in for the traditional ones to make them healthier.
9. Fill up your plate with mostly fruit, veggies, fresh greens and lean protein and limit mashed potatoes, breading, processed meats (like brats, hotdogs and deli meats) and anything fried.
10. Don’t restrict yourself too much. It’s ok to have your favorite treats, but just find a smaller piece or stop at one plate instead of getting seconds.
Go ahead and follow these tips–what do you have to lose?…except the food baby bloat
That being said, everyone have a safe and happy Fourth of July and make good healthy, choices!