The key to not gaining weight during the holidays is to make a game plan and stick to it.
What would the holidays be without a few indulgences? As you celebrate with family and friends, you probably go ahead and enjoy delicious dishes (hello, sweet potato casserole and Grandma’s red velvet cake). Wouldn’t it be great if you could partake in the fun without putting on weight? Follow these rules—don’t worry, you won’t feel deprived.
What fun would it be to go to family dinners or get-togethers and refuse the treats you’ve anticipated all year? Instead of starting the season thinking that you’ll lose weight, make it your goal to stay steady.
Mark your calendar with some check-in dates throughout the season. For example, plan to step on the scale a few days before Christmas and the day before New Year’s Eve. One study found that people who set aside a few minutes during the holidays to weigh themselves seemed more motivated to work out and watch their diets.
Have a snack such as an apple and a tablespoon of peanut butter before you head out to a holiday event. You’ll be less likely to wolf down the first morsel you’re offered. If you’re hosting the party, serve a few healthful dishes; a fruit salad or a veggie tray with low-fat dip is a great alternative.
It’s easy to think you can’t possibly manage to fit in exercise during the busy winter months. Remember that even small steps count—follow along with 10 minutes of a workout DVD while your holiday cookies are in the oven.
Do you know how many calories are in that hot chocolate with whipped cream? If you did, you might think twice about the size you order, or you might make it a point to get in more exercise so you can burn off the calories. Go to calorieking.com to research your favorite treats.
You’re making your famous Swedish meatballs for your New Year’s Eve party, and you can’t resist sampling one. Be sure to sit at your kitchen table while you eat rather than scarfing it down at the kitchen counter. If you make enjoying your treat a deliberate task, you’ll feel more satiated.
Remember why you came to the party: to catch up with family and friends, not to make multiple trips to the buffet table. Chat with at least five people at the gathering—it’s a great distraction from all that food!