The holidays are almost here, which should be a time of celebration and relaxation. Of course with the holidays comes all sorts of treats, and more time on our hands to enjoy them. It’s easy to become food-centric during this time, but try not to focus too much on food and instead the company you’re with.
Be realistic, now is not the time to go on a diet and set a goal to lose so many kilos. A more realistic idea is to try to maintain your current weight. So, if you’ve told yourself you want to be a certain size or weight by new year’s, I would just avoid the added pressure and move that goal forward into the new year.
Here are a few tips that may help you enjoy the holidays without the extra bulge:
- Plan time for exercise. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain. Even 10 minutes a day can help.
- Don’t skip meals. Before leaving for a party, eat a light snack like raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to curb your appetite. You will be less tempted to over-indulge.
- Survey party buffets before filling your plate. Start by filling your plate with vegetables and salad before going to the entrees and desserts. Eating a salad before your meal can help you eat fewer calories overall. The nutrients that feed your cells give you that full feeling, so you can’t fill up on too much of the other foods.
- Choose your favorite foods and skip your least favorite. Include vegetables and fruits to keep your plate balanced. Be choosy, and spend calories judiciously on the foods you love.
- Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. Savor your favorite holiday treats while eating small portions. Sit down, get comfortable, and enjoy. After finishing your first helping (eat slowly), take a 10-minute break. It takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to get the signal that you’re full. Make conversation. Drink some water. Then recheck your appetite.
- If you overeat at one meal go light on the next. You can always make up for a monster meal later in the day by going light and easy.
- Take the focus off food. Play holiday games/group activities with family and friends that aren’t all about food.
- Bring your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering.
- Be mindful when you eat. Don’t consume food just because it’s there.
Most importantly, enjoy the time with one another. The holidays come and go very quickly, so try to practice mindfulness and being fully present. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!