Keep your weight in check with these tips to avoid holiday weight gain this year.
Holiday season is the favorite time of year for most people. It’s a time you get together with your family, friends, and all loved ones, you spend time together, catch up, and do fun holiday activities.
One of the most common parts of holiday festivities is eating together. Everyone gets together, makes memories, and eats delicious foods together.
So, the holiday season is full of indulgent foods and drinks, dessert swaps, dinners, appetizers, holiday buffets, and so much more.
Therefore, holiday weight gain is a common concern amongst adults, because maintaining your pre-holiday weight can be challenging when you’re constantly surrounded by delicious comfort foods and gatherings that revolve around food and eating.
However, it’s definitely possible to not gain weight during holidays, even without sacrificing delicious meals and family holiday parties where you want to eat some tasty dishes rather than stick to nutritious foods.
In this post, I’m sharing with you some tips on how to get through the holidays without gaining weight, without denying yourself of eating delicious food, and having a good time with your family and friends.
How To Get Through The Holidays Without Gaining Weight
Be mindful of portion control. There’s no reason you can’t eat all of the delicious food you see on the table, but if you want to keep your weight in check and avoid holiday weight gain, try to take smaller portions of the calorie-rich foods. That way, you still get to eat everything, but you won’t gain weight. To make it easier for yourself to portion the high-calorie foods, fill your plate with a salad or some veggies – that way you will fill up with healthy nutritious food a bit, so you won’t need to eat too much of the unhealthy stuff.
Drink More Water
Since every holiday party usually comes with tasty (and usually not healthy) holiday drinks as well, it’s easy to forget to also drink water – not just juices, cocktails, and fun drinks. Water nourishes your body, and it actually helps you not gain weight.
So, don’t forget to drink water as much as possible, whenever you can – drinking cocktails and not feeling thirsty after isn’t enough. You need water to avoid holiday weight gain and for weight loss.
A standard way to maintain weight when eating more is exercising more. If you’re eating more calories, you’ll want to burn off those extra calories by exercising more.
But remember, exercise doesn’t have to be something you hate. If you don’t like going to the gym, you don’t have to. There are so many ways you can burn the extra calories you’re eating – dancing, running, riding a bike, hiking – whatever form of exercise works for you, do it. It will help you not gain weight, while still eating everything that you want to eat during the holiday season.
Plus, physical activity is always needed, not just to not gain holiday weight.
Eat Low-Calorie & High-Fiber Foods Before Going To Parties
If you’re going to a dinner party or a dinner gathering with your family and friends where you know there will be lots of delicious foods that are on the higher-calorie side, try to eat on the lower-calorie side for breakfast and lunch.
Fill up on low-carb and high-fiber foods (fresh fruit, vegetables, salads, soups, lean meats, etc.), so when you get to the party, you won’t be starving, and that will be your only unhealthy meal of the day, so you won’t have to stress as much.
Plus, eating healthy foods for other meals isn’t only important for maintaining your pre-holiday weight – it’s important for your health as well.
Eat nutritious foods.
Keep your weight in check by nourishing your body with nutritious foods like protein, healthy fats, and low carbs. In addition to macronutrients, your body will also need micronutrients that can be found by eating fruits and vegetables as well.
Be sure to get all of the nutrients and vitamins you need before the family meal to avoid holiday weight gain because you probably won’t be able to get that with the food you’ll eat at those gatherings. (Hey, we all love holiday meals such as mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, pastas, and fried food, but it’s not really nourishing for your body, right?).
Snacking is always “dangerous”, but especially during holiday parties and when you’re leaning towards weight loss. When the gathering has mini finger foods you can snack on while talking to other people, you tend to do just that – eat them without thinking.
And since you’re just eating small mini foods and snacks, you don’t even think about the fact that it adds up, and since they’re usually high-calorie snacks, eating them without thinking can definitely make you gain weight if that happens often.
Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating means listening to your body. It means eating when you’re hungry and not eating when you aren’t.
If you genuinely don’t feel hungry, you don’t have to eat just because you’re at a gathering and there’s food there. Oftentimes delicious food makes us want to eat it even when we’re not hungry, but practice mindful eating, and eat only when you’re hungry.
Avoid Processed Foods
Avoiding processed foods is something you should do as much as possible, always. But especially when you’re trying not to gain weight. You’ll be eating tons of delicious homemade stuff at family gatherings, and since that holiday food is usually not the healthy type of comfort food, you don’t want to eat processed foods on top of that.
Calorie Count When Possible
Most people don’t realize how many calories they actually eat in a day. The average adult only needs about 2,000 calories daily, and delicious holiday meals can definitely send that number over the edge, causing weight gain.
If you want to lose weight and avoid holiday weight gain, count your calories whenever possible. The primary method for weight loss is to go into a caloric deficit, which is essentially burning more calories than you eat in a day.
Counting your calories can help you become more mindful of how much more calories you’re eating past the average 2,000 benchmark. Also by shaving 500 calories from your daily intake, it’s thought to help people drop one pound of weight loss per week.
Get adequate sleep.
Did you know? Too little sleep could stimulate weight gain-inducing hormones. According to a Harvard study, “Insufficient sleep is associated with higher levels of the hormone ghrelin, which increases appetite, and lower levels of the hormone leptin, which leads to feeling less full and sets people up to gain weight.” In contrast, sleeping more could bring the hormones back to balance. So, while it’s fun to stay up late and spend as much time as possible with loved ones, just know that if you’re serious in your desire to avoid holiday weight gain, it’s important to prioritize sleep.