It is just so easy to say yes to all the goodies that are starting to make their rounds during the holidays. There will not only be delicious baked goods but savory snacks galore and they all will end up in the same place, on our waistline unless we put them in the wastebasket. *Le sigh* All is not lost. There is a way to appease our taste buds without having to ask Santa for a whole new wardrobe for Christmas! Below you will find some tips from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tips-to-avoid-holiday-weight-gain#section9 on how to indulge yourself during the holidays without overindulging. For the list of the full twenty tips, you can follow the link provided above.
1. Be Active with Family and Friends – Try taking a quick walk or play an interactive game with family and/or friends after a heavy meal. The key is not to stay sedentary and burn some extra calories.
2. Be Smart When Snacking – When you can help it, keep snacks out of reach so that you will not be so tempted to eat them when you are not really hungry. If you do find yourself genuinely hungry, opt for healthier snacks such as fruit, Greek yogurt, or whole grain crackers and low-fat cheeses.
3. Watch Your Portion Sizes – Overeating is a very easy way to gain extra weight. A good trick to avoid this is to use a smaller plate. For a more accurate portion size, you can read the label to get the recommended portion size, weigh or measure your food as well.
4. Practice Mindful Eating – Whether it is the holidays or not we eat without really thinking about the process or what we are consuming. This could be a great time to slow down and take your time to think about what you are eating. Mindful eating is about eating slowly and thoughtfully so that you do not overeat as well as experiencing your food. For your next meal try savoring your food by utilizing mindful eating exercise like the one found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_IrfyjP88w
5. Keep Meals Balanced with Protein – There are many carb heavy holiday goodies, but there are some savory treats out there that you may want to lean towards instead. Protein helps reduce your hunger which helps you eat less. By adding protein to your meals, you will avoid gaining weight by eating less, it’s a simple and easy way that still lets you eat some of your favorite savory treats.
6. Limit Liquid Calories – Keep in mind that those holiday punches, mixed drinks, and all the other specialty drinks have lots of hidden calories so be mindful to not drink all of your calories.
7. Use the Buddy System – Find a friend or family member to keep you accountable for what and how much you eat and do the same for them.
These tips can help you stay accountable with your eating without feeling guilty or awkward participating in the festivities. As always when partaking in any type of change in your diet, talk with your doctor and your therapist to make sure that your overall health and well-being will be intact. These tips are here to help you feel like you have some control over your weight gain this holiday season without feeling deprived or isolated from everyone and the fun. Eat, drink and be merry, just do it wisely.
By, Garcsa Brooks
Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc.