Trying to maintain a healthy weight is never easy. It requires constantly knowing how many calories you’re eating, continuing to keep a great workout routine, and avoiding temptation at all costs (or at least being smart when you cheat).
Maintaining a healthy weight is hard work, but maintaining it during the holidays is even harder. If you’re worried that the fruitcake, cookies, cakes and other tasty treats are going to be too tempting to resist this holiday, use the following tips to help yourself avoid gaining the dreaded holiday pounds.
1. Eat before you go
The worst mistake you can make is to go to a holiday party when you’re hungry, as this will make you feel the need to devour everything in sight. Instead of succumbing to all the holiday treats, be sure to eat before you head out to all the festivities. This way, you will not only ensure that you’re eating something healthy, but you’ll also be less tempted to eat while you’re there, which will help you avoid the holiday pounds.
2. Eat slowly
If you’re going to eat while you’re enjoying the holiday parties, it’s a good idea to eat slowly. It takes your brain about 20 minutes to tell your stomach that it’s full, so if you devour platefuls of food in five minutes, you’ll end up overeating. However, if you eat slowly, you’ll consume fewer calories and you’ll feel full well before you eat your entire plate.
3. Don’t get much calories
Some people think that as long as they avoid holiday cookies and treats they’ll avoid gaining holiday weight, but this isn’t true. Many cocktails contain a large amount of calories, and if you avoid eating but drink heavily, you could end up drinking all your calories to the point of gaining weight. Try to drink water during the holidays whenever possible, but if you want to enjoy a cocktail or two, try to stick with those that are low in calories, such as champagne or rum and diet coke.
4. Start a fitness program
The best way to avoid gaining weight is to continue to try and shed some pounds. Having a workout routine is a great way to help keep off the extra weight. You can join a gym or fitness program, or you can even do your own workouts from the comfort of your own home. You may also want to try and get a friend or family member to come with you in order to help keep you motivated to work out.
5. Bring your own healthy snacks
If you’re attending a holiday party, you can avoid making unhealthy decisions by bringing your own healthy snacks. Bring some whole wheat chips and hummus or a vegetable tray to the holiday gatherings. This way, if you’re surrounded by unhealthy snacks and desserts, you know there will be at least one healthy thing there that you can eat that won’t be bad for your waistline.
6. Distract yourself
It can be very easy to eat an entire bowl of chips when you’re hovering over the snack table. Instead, be sure to distract yourself whenever possible. Get involved in a conversation with people away from the food, start playing a game of cards, darts or even ping pong, or distract yourself by playing with the kids. The more you can take your mind away from food (and the more you can take your body away from the snack table) the less likely you’ll be to overeat.
7. Plan meals ahead of time
Because the holidays can be hectic, it’s easy for you to be too tired to want to cook dinner. Instead of giving in to the drive-thru monster, try to plan your meals ahead of time. There are plenty of healthy freezer meals you can prepare weeks before the holidays that you can easily cook when you get home. Some only require you to cook it for about 30 minutes while others are simply thrown in the crockpot. This way, you and your family will be able to eat healthy dinners throughout the holidays even when you don’t feel like cooking.
8. Join a weight loss program
Sometimes having the support of a weight loss program can be just what you need to avoid the holiday pounds. You can opt for a weight loss program that provides you with ready-to-eat meals, such as Nutrisystem, or you can opt for a weight loss program that allows you to eat what you want, such as Weight Watchers. These programs can provide you with the mindset and support you need in order to beat those holiday pounds.