There are holidays all year, but the most saturated time for celebrations is between November and January. Between get-togethers with families and friends, it can get tricky to stay on track with your fitness goals. Sometimes people use this time to take a break from their weight management goals, but it’s essential to make room for them. Holiday weight gain is the main contributor to excess weight gain for the entire year. Don’t let your decisions these few months set you back to where you started. Here are ten tips to avoid holiday weight gain.
Stay on Your Eating Schedule
How many of you are guilty of starving yourself all day because you know you will have a party later? Stop doing that! When you stick to your regular schedule, you will be less likely to arrive starving and overeat. Have a small healthy snack or meal before arriving at an event to avoid the urge to overeat.
Pay Attention to Liquid Calories
There will be plenty of festive drinks and alcoholic beverages at holiday gatherings. Be aware of how much you are drinking because those calories will add up without feeling full. In addition, alcohol consumption may lead to increased appetite, causing you to eat more.
When we are well hydrated, it will help us eat less during a meal. In addition, drinking plenty of water with meals aids digestion and keeps your metabolism firing. Try drinking a glass of water with everything you eat and drink.
Load up on Protein
Eating protein encourages fullness and tells your body that it is satisfied. Try to add a palm-full of protein to your holiday meal to help balance out the carb choices. This will assist in regulating your appetite and prevent you from overindulging.
Incorporate Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber which will help increase fullness and reduce total intake. In addition, it will help to regulate cravings. Finally, the added fruits and vegetables will give you the nutrients to support immunity and ease symptoms of hangovers.
Pay attention to what you are eating and how fast. One of the main ways to avoid overeating is to eat slowly. When you eat mindfully, you can prevent distracted eating, which is a cause of overeating, leading to holiday weight gain. Mindful, slow eating gives your body the time to recognize it’s full.
Find Ways to Move
Moving regularly will help you stay on track and move the extra calories around you consumed. Get at least 150 minutes of activity a week as a rule of thumb. You can find ways to make time for movement during this busy time of year by using on-the-go fitness platforms or joining holiday-themed fitness activities. Finally, add fun activities like games at a social gathering to change the focus after a holiday dinner.
Prioritize Social Interations
Instead of focusing on the food, focus on the people. Have you ever had a whole conversation with your friends at a restaurant where you forgot to order or finish your food? Enjoy the social interaction after having a regular meal to avoid eating to pass the time.
Do Non-food Related Activities
Not everything during the holidays has to revolve around food. Depending on where you live, there are plenty of fun movement-related activities that you can make memories of. Here are some ideas for non-food-related activities:
- Attend a holiday lighting ceremony
- Go to an outdoor ice skating ring
- Hunt for holiday decorations
- Have a holiday decorating event
Avoid the Guilt
Overall do not feel like you can’t indulge in extra treats. It’s essential to stick to a plan but not over-stress about it. Stress contributes to weight gain, so it’s important to practice moderation when at holiday gatherings. One salad isn’t going to help you lose weight, just as one extra treat won’t cause you to gain. Have the treats but stick to your plan to avoid holiday weight gain throughout the whole season.