It’s an all-too-common occurrence.
As you stand in front of the mirror Thanksgiving morning, you vow that this is going to be the year that you maintain the downward trend on the bathroom scale that you’ve been working so hard at for the last several months.
Fast-forward to later that evening, and you suddenly find yourself mowing down Aunt Myrtle en route to the dessert table for the last piece of pecan pie. Before you know it, elastic waist pants and antacid are once again a regular part of your post-holiday party routine.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
“It is possible to enjoy the holiday season without gaining weight,” said Heidi Meyers, MS, a behavioral health educator with Kettering Health Weight Loss Solutions. “Think of your reasons for wanting to be healthier and that ‘letting loose’ during the holiday season is not an option.”
How to avoid the overindulging holiday trap
With careful attention and planning, you will be able to maintain or even lose weight this holiday season.
Meyers, along with Kettering Health Weight Loss program nurse Missy Harris, BSN, recommend keeping these simple tips in mind:
- It is tempting to ignore the scale during the holidays. Commit to weighing once a week to help with accountability.
- Using a food and exercise app, such as MyFitnessPal, will help keep you accountable for your choices.
- Lower calorie days can offset higher calorie days. The same goes for exercise — higher exercise days balance lower days.
- Stay active; one of the major causes of weight gain during the holidays is lack of exercise. Increasing your exercise levels during the holidays will make it more likely that you will stay focused on your food choices.
- Exercise by the 10-10-10 method. Exercise 10 minutes three times to get in 30 minutes, which may seem like a lot during the busy season.
Before the party:
- Don’t starve yourself. Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack like yogurt, raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to curb your appetite. You will be less tempted to overindulge.
- Prepare a healthier dish to bring to the holiday gathering.
At the party:
- Fill three-quarters of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Then choose a few other items to round out your meal.
- Limit yourself to one trip to the serving table.
- Cut down on portion sizes to allow yourself a bite or two of your favorites.
- Use smaller plates.
- Be careful of your beverage choices. Sugary drinks add unnecessary calories. Substitute festive beverages with a glass of mineral water or a diet soda.
- Don’t hang out by the buffet table — it makes it too easy to “nibble.”
- Wait 20 minutes before going back for seconds. That is usually how long it takes the brain to register that you have eaten.
- If you overeat at one meal, go light on the next. Try not to have that “all or nothing” mentality. Calories are accumulative, so don’t see the whole day as blown.
“Remember holidays are days, not weeks,” said Meyers. “Enjoy yourself on the day and commit to going back to your normal healthy eating plan.”
Kettering Health Weight Loss Solutions is your choice for weight loss. They are dedicated to help you make informed decisions about your health.