The holidays are a time to relax, unwind and enjoy friends and family, but they’re also filled with lots of goodies. Remember these three tips to avoid gaining weight over the holidays, and every day.
This is my favorite time of year. There’s nothing like baking cookies all day, attending holiday parties and relaxing by a warm fire at night. In fact, the only problem that can come with the holidays is the excess of food – especially sweets and treats.
What’s a Christmas cookie lover to do? It may seem challenging to enjoy all of the holiday festivities without gaining weight, but it is possible. Avoiding holiday weight gain can be as simple as remembering, and applying, these three concepts – be prepared, remain aware, and don’t skip your workouts. Here’s how to put those principals into practice.
Picture this scenario – you’re out shopping when your stomach begins to growl. You planned to be home in time to eat, but the long checkout line, the crowded parking lot, and the bumper-to-bumper traffic between the store and your home are making that impossible.
Instead of surrendering to the drive through, head out to do your holiday shopping prepared. Take a healthy, portable snack with you no matter where you go – even if it’s just a 10 minute errand. Something as simple as a piece of fruit or an energy bar would be perfect.
Here’s another scenario – You’re headed to a party later in the evening, and you decide to skip lunch and your afternoon snack to “save” calories. Now it’s party time, and you’re starving, but the food there is not what you would consider healthy.
Solution – saving up for later can be a recipe for disaster. Instead, keep your regular eating schedule, but choose lighter options for each meal. Also, eat a high-protein snack before the party to help keep you full while there. That will reduce the risk of you over doing it.
You might think it’s better to have a taste of this and a taste of that, but all of those bites can easily add up to more calories than you would expect. This goes for whether you are at home or at a party.
Here are the calorie counts of some common holiday treats:
Eggnog (1 cup): 112 calories Wine (5 fl. oz.): 120 calories Cheddar cheese (1 oz): 113 calories Sugar cookie (1): 120 calories Candy cane (1): 40 calories Chocolate chips (1 tbsp): 70 calories Mixed nuts (1 oz): 168 calories
Maintain Your Regular Workout Regimen:
You’re likely already indulging on some foods you wouldn’t normally eat, so don’t double up by skipping your workouts, too. The goal is to maintain as many healthy habits as possible. Do yourself a favor, and make time each day to engage in physical activity. I’m not saying that you have to go for a 12 mile run; I’m just suggesting you do your best to move. If you can maintain your normal exercise routine, even better. Even parking farther from the store or taking the stairs instead of the escalator will help. Exercise is a proven stress-buster, and maintaining your exercise regimen will help you feel good, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally, too. Just as important, it will keep you in the habit!
Remember these three tips, and it will be easy to avoid gaining weight over the holidays. And, be sure to reward your success!