It’s well-known that people typically gain weight during the holiday season. But it’s not dinners at home that are the problem, it’s all the parties, work functions, family gatherings, etc. that take place this time of year.
It can just be too much temptation. According to research by the National Institutes of Health, the vast majority of people will never lose the weight they gain during the holiday season! There are things you can do before you head to your holiday gatherings to help you from overindulging.
Indulge a little
We’ll start with one you’ll like — let yourself have a bit of the holiday treats you only get this time of year. The trick is to keep it in moderation though!
Drink lots of water
Drinking water takes up space in your stomach, is calorie-free, good for your health, and helps you feel full more quickly.
Fill your plate with the healthy stuff first
When making your plate, fill most of the space with vegetables, fruits, or salad. This will help keep you from over-indulging on the other stuff.
Never go a party hungry
It’s too hard to say no to a plate of delicious hors d’oeuvres or a table full of holiday desserts when you’re hungry. When possible, it’s much better to eat a small, healthy meal before heading to a party.
Have at least a snack of protein before you go
If it’s not possible to have a small nutritious meal before your party, at least try to have a snack of protein before you go. Grab a handful of nuts, some yogurt, a protein shake, or crackers with cheese.
Grab the smaller plates
A lot of party set-ups will have large dinner-sized plates for the main food and smaller dessert plates. Grab a dessert plate for all your party food. Studies show that people eat less when using smaller plates.
Be smart about alcohol
Limit your intake and pass on the drinks with sugary mixes. Try instead to sip on dry red wine, or liquor with soda water. It’s also helpful to alternate each glass of alcohol with a glass of water.
Don’t skip meals on party days to “save” calories
It’s tempting to eat very little during the day of a party to “save” the calories for later. But that almost always backfires. It’s too hard to eat in moderation when you’re hungry and have been deprived of healthy fuel all day.
Try the three-bite rule
Research shows that the first few bites of any dish are the most satisfying. Some people find success with a three-bite rule — slowly eat and enjoy three bites of your favorite foods and then try to leave it at that.
Take your time
Eat slowly and before you go back for more, wait 20 to 30 minutes. It takes that long for your stomach to signal your brain that it’s full. If you eat to the point of feeling full, then the feeling of being overfull will kick in soon. But when you wait, you often find that you don’t really want more.
‘Tis the season!
Remember, your health is determined by what you do most of the time, not what you do once in a while. All of us from Jesse James Fit and Outlaw FitCamp wish you happy and healthy holidays!