Avoiding Weight Gain During the Holidays

Published by FitWatch
Weight gain during the holidays seems almost inevitable when you consider the influencing factors at play: being busier and more stressed than you normally are, gathering together with loved ones and friends for celebrations, and plenty of temptations in the form of delicious, high calorie foods and beverages.

But, if you plan ahead and keep a few helpful strategies in mind, you don’t have to ditch your healthy weight loss plans just because the holidays are here.

Create a Calorie Deficit

First things first.  It’s unrealistic to believe that you’ll be able to stick like glue to a diet plan when you’re repeatedly faced with so many temptations.  Rather than trying to resist all of them, why not create a healthy balance that allows you to indulge a little bit while still making progress on your weight loss goals?

One way to do this is by creating a calorie deficit most days, so you have a little wiggle room on the days when you have to attend a holiday party.

Start each morning with a healthy, low-calorie, high-fiber meal.  Low sugar fruit like berries and grapefruit are good choices, as well as low-fat protein sources like cottage cheese, yogurt, or egg white omelets (toss some healthy veggies in there too, like spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, and onions).

For lunch, enjoy light salads with lean protein (a grilled chicken salad is a great choice) and low-fat dressing.

Dinners can include more lean protein like fish, along with small servings of whole grains and still more high-fiber vegetables.

Drink a large glass of water before each meal so you eat fewer calories and add to the calorie deficit even more.  Increasing the length and/or intensity of your workout routines each day can also help you burn more calories so you can eat more calories later in the week.

Save Treats for the Parties

If you normally include a few treats in your eating plan during the week, cut those out or reduce the quantity you eat, and that will allow a bit more room for indulging during the upcoming parties and gatherings you’ll be attending.

Prioritize Your Treats

Weight gain during the holidays is the result of overindulging repeatedly, but you don’t have to do that.  When you attend parties and gatherings, don’t view them as opportunities to gorge yourself.  Instead, look at all of the foods available and decide which of them appeals to you most.  You don’t have to eat everything - just pick a few that you REALLY want to try, and have small servings of those.

Focus on the Festivities

After you’ve enjoyed your treats, move away from the food and spend time enjoying the festivities.  Holiday celebrations are not all about the food!  Get involved in discussions and party games.  Introduce yourself to new people, and catch up with people you don’t see that often.  Remind yourself that there are endless ways to enjoy yourself beyond eating.

Weight gain during the holidays can be avoided easily if you simply keep your habits in balance.

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