Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
Most of us just accept that we will gain some extra pounds during the holiday celebrations. Parties, large dinners and an abundance of sweets make it difficult to avoid. But there are ways to continue enjoying the festivities without adding pounds. Here are some tips to dodge extra calories without missing the fun.
Tip 1: Watch your Attitude
Having a party attitude is great, but not when it comes to portion control. An occasional splurge is okay, but with the weeks of celebrations, it can add up fast. One slice of pecan pie is 500 calories. Do that every day for a week and you're facing an extra pound.
Tip 2: Watch your Plate Size
Dinner plates have grown in size over the centuries. Larger plates tend to lead to larger portions. Larger portions lead to weight gain. And there are usually a large variety of options to choose from at holiday events. Nutritionists suggest limiting yourself to three food items, and limit the size of the portions.
Tip 3: Put Some Distance between You and the Food Seeing and
Smelling food can trigger hunger. Sensory temptation is very powerful. We also tend to graze when food is easy to reach. If possible, sit or stand away from tempting foods. Another method is to only partake of vegetable dishes or healthier fare, if available.
Tip 4: Get Your Fiber
It's well known that ﬁber is responsible for promoting healthy digestion, but it also has other beneﬁts when trying to control weight.
- Fiber is calorie free, and causes you to feel full quicker and longer.
- Fiber promotes consistent blood sugar levels, which prevents sugar highs and crashes.
Typical holiday dishes such as pastries and baked goods contain very little ﬁber. Try adding dishes containing beans or whole grains to boost your ﬁber intake. Aim for at least 25 grams of ﬁber every day.
Tip 5: Ditch the Butter and Gravy
Buttering that roll or that serving of potatoes can add about 200 calories to a meal. Butter is used in many holiday recipes like sauces and gravies. Avoid buttering dishes that already have butter in them and keep gravies and sauces to a minimum.
Tip 6: Don't be fooled by Vegetables and Fruits
Dishes that are made from vegetables or fruits may not be low calorie. Many of these contain tons of sugars, syrups and fat. Culprits include cranberry salad and green bean casserole — two holiday favorites. Try to always choose fresh vegetables without additives.
Tip 7: Skip the Toppings
Adding marshmallows or whipped cream to dishes and desserts can add as much as 100 calories. If you feel like you can't pass that sweet topping by, look for low calorie alternatives or those made with natural ingredients.
Tip 8: Curb the Alcohol
Many of the beverages traditionally offered around the holidays are loaded with sugary calories, for example egg nog. These really sabotage your blood sugar control. Alcohol can slow metabolism and decreases inhibitions, making the tendency to over-eat more likely.