Holidays are notorious for rich, sugar-filled foods, parties, alcohol, and complete over- consumption when it comes to our diet. It would be wonderful to spend the next month enjoying the treats of the season while not seeing a change on the scale or in our body’s performance. However, that is just not reality. Our bodies respond to how we care for them. This includes caloric intake. There are some tricks that can help you enjoy your favorite treats without gaining weight.
First, give yourself some wiggle room. Do not deny yourself your favorite holiday goodies. The more you deny yourself of those foods, the more you will want them. Going longer without eating them sets you up for binging on them later. It is perfectly acceptable to allow yourself a small amount of unhealthy treats every day. In a paper published by Nutrition Today, a team of nutritionists says that it is okay to eat between 50-100 calories of indulgent foods a day. Just continue to eat an overall healthy diet throughout the rest of the day.
To help control your portions at parties, hang onto your plate. If you can see evidence of food you have already eaten (nut shells, shrimp tails, candy wrappers), you will eat less than if you were to toss them once you finished. While mingling and chatting with friends, it can be hard to monitor your food intake. It will help you to have some visual clues reminding you of what you have already consumed. If there are no toothpicks or chicken bones on your plate, it can be harder to decide when it is time to stop grazing. Before you know it you have consumed hundreds of extra calories without even realizing it.
Be realistic during the holiday season. Do not try to loose weight. Instead try to maintain your current weight. Continue to get your exercise in daily. This will help you control your weight as well as unwanted holiday stress.
By: Amanda Lindquist, AFAA-CPT/GEI, Group Exercise Instructor at Valley Health Wellness & Fitness Center
Eat Your Fave Holiday Treats Without Gaining Weight by Alice Ogelethorpe, Fitness Magazine, 2014.
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