What do you get when you combine Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's? The holiday seasons! We often fill this time of year with joy and excitement. Friends and family gather to celebrate the holidays while enjoying delicious meals together. However, this time of year can also be a challenge for people who need to avoid weight gain because of health reasons.
This blog post will explore 10 tips on how to stay healthy during the holidays without feeling deprived or overly hungry.
1. Keep Track of What You Eat and Drink
If you're at a gathering where there will be lots of food, don't just grab whatever is put in front of you. Think before eating so that you can decide what works for your healthy eating plan and which foods don't fit into your healthy eating goals. You might need to ask yourself questions like: Is this healthy? Is this healthy for me? Will I be hungry if I eat this, or will the food satisfy my hunger?
There's a good chance that while you're feasting and celebrating this Thursday, you'll be tempted to go back on your healthy eating plan. "Don't lose weight during the holidays," says Gorin. There's a good chance that trying to stick with healthy options during those weeks-long festivities will lead you to overeat and feel deprived, leading you to binge eat later down the road.
2. Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand
Make sure healthy choices are easy to get at when you're tempted by party foods. Bring healthy snacks with you so that if there's not healthy food available where you are, you can still avoid eating things that aren't good for your healthy eating plan. Some ideas of healthy snacks include:
- Fresh fruit and vegetables
- Whole-grain crackers and string cheese
- Almonds and pumpkin seeds
3. Stick with Alcohol Only in Moderation
For women, A drink or two is fine, but don't forget to count any calories from alcohol towards your healthy eating plan. It's easy to go overboard when drinking alcohol, so monitor how much you're drinking, especially if you're not watching what you eat at the same time.
4. Pace Yourself with Food and Drinks
If you know there won't be healthy options available where you'll be or if it's a potluck situation, pace yourself by taking small portions of each food choice. Eat slowly and stop when you feel satisfied. Most women maintain their weight and health as they grow because of pacing themselves with drinks and food!
Eat before going to the party. If the only healthy options at a party are small appetizers, then it's probably best to eat an early dinner. If you eat before the party, it will be easier to pass up the high-calorie foods that are available.
5. Avoid Mindless Munching
It's easy to forget about healthy eating when you're distracted or busy. If you know you'll be avoiding healthy food at the party, then do something that will keep your hands and mind preoccupied, like playing cards or darts.
Having an eating schedule may help you have food discipline. Most women engage in cooking duties and may find themselves eating while cooking. If you stick to your eating schedule, you can avoid weight loss and also avoid weight gain during the holiday season.
6. Choose a Healthy Eating Plan During the Holiday
If your healthy eating plan already includes a lot of healthy vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, then it will be easier to avoid unhealthy foods at a dinner or party. However, if you eat a lot of processed foods, sugary snacks daily, then it might be a good idea to lay off these things for several days before going out so that you can resist temptation.
7. Don't Let Healthy Eating Take the Back Seat for Holiday Partying
Even healthy foods can add extra calories if you eat too much of them. Your healthy eating plan should still be your top priority, even for taking time out for a party. You don't have to give up healthy eating completely during the holidays in order to avoid weight gain.
8. Get Some Exercise on Days Before and After Parties
No one likes an excuse not to exercise, but sometimes life gets busy and there's no time for it. That's why it's important to schedule some physical activity so that you can stay healthy, letting nothing impede staying active. You can do exercise while at home or visit the nearest gym to make sure you avoid weight gain during holidays.
Doing exercise when you plan to eat at parties can help maintain your health. There are exercises one can do while at home, including:
- Gym activities
9. Plan for Special Events
When there's a gathering coming up, it's important to plan your healthy eating ahead of time so that you can avoid the temptation and empty calories that come with holiday parties. Choosing the right diet during holidays may work well for you and help you avoid gaining or losing weight.
If you're hosting a party at home, chances are you won't have to worry about skipping healthy options. Just set some reasonable goals for yourself like having just one piece of pie or saving your wine intake for just one serving. You can even have healthy leftovers the next day.
10. Hit the Gym Beforehand
If you're heading to a party that lasts for hours (and you know there will be healthy options like veggies and cheese), hit the gym beforehand so when it's time to indulge, you've already burned off some of those healthy calories.
The holidays are a time for celebration and giving thanks, but as we all know, it can also be a time of excess. In the mad dash to prepare some amazing dishes for Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas Eve potluck, many people end up eating more than they should. This is especially true if you're on an airplane during this season because there's no way to eat healthy food! Luckily, there are ways you can avoid weight gain without sacrificing your holiday cheer this year.
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