Stop! Put down the liberally sliced piece of pound cake and imagine how great it will feel to start 2017 with an exciting, creative resolution that doesn’t involve extreme weight loss.
From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, many people throw their fitness and nutrition goals out the window to indulge mindlessly in whatever they please. I have certainly been guilty of holiday weight gain in years past; however, in 2015, I was determined to maintain my normal weight through the season. I will be using these same strategies this holiday season because they worked for me. Hopefully, they will work for you too!
Know What You’re Making: I’m a fudge fanatic. It’s tradition for my mother and I to make at least one batch of fudge to get us through the month of December. There’s butter, sugar, chocolate chips, and plenty more calorie packed ingredients; however, that doesn’t mean the nutritional information of our final fudge squares has to be a mystery. As we started prepping our ingredients, I penciled down the calorie content of each item. For example, one cup of sugar added on around 700 calories. When I had all of my numbers listed, I added them up and got one large, big, scary number. When our fudge was ready and cooled, I cut the fudge into fairly small squares, counted the number of total squares, and then divided that into our larger number. By doing this, I was able to come up with a general idea of the calorie content of our delicious fudge squares. I was still able to savor and enjoy each piece I had throughout the month, but I was also mindful and would often even cut servings in half.
Eat Slowly: Wait until everyone has their food in front of them and then begin eating. Enjoy your food; don’t devour it. Eating slowly is a great habit to practice throughout the year and especially during the holidays.
Pile on The Fruit: You’ll typically find platters of fruits and veggies at holiday parties, and these should be your best friend. Pile on these healthy, lower calorie options, and you’ll have less room on your plate and in your stomach for other, less healthy foods.
Schedule Your Workout to Supplement Your Goals: If early morning workouts keep you on point health-wise throughout the rest of the day, great. If having an evening workout would keep you from over-indulging in the hours leading up to your workout, then plan for that. Whatever time of day keeps your healthy eating regimen on track is what you should plan for and stick to. Furthermore, it is important to set goals throughout the holiday season. And don’t be too broad with these. Set monthly, weekly, and daily goals through the holidays and record your results.
Keep Track of What You Eat: Keeping a simple food journal can work wonders on eating habits. As I’ve mentioned in previous Health Life issues, there are apps for that. My favorite nutrition journal app, Lose It!, recently added an option for users to simply take a picture of a food item to get its nutritional information. There are no excuses for mindless eating these days.
Health Life | November 2016
Holiday Weight Gain is Not Inevitable: 5 Tips to Keeping the Pounds Off
Written by: Sarah Turner