any of us look forward to shopping, wrapping, baking and being with loved ones during the holidays. One thing that we don’t look forward to is the excess weight gain we generally tend to carry into the New Year. While restricting your diet and cramming in extra workouts might seem like the logic thing to do, some of your “healthy” decisions could actually work against you, leave you feeling burnt out or cause you to binge eat, but more importantly, affect your fun this wonderful time of year. Here are our Simple Tips to help avoid holiday weight gain while fully enjoying this season!
- As cliche as it sounds, balance and moderation is KEY! You probably don’t need to taste test EACH and EVERY batch of cookies you whip up… leave your tasting expertise for this year’s Cookie Exchange.
- Stick with your healthy habits during the week. If you consistently run 3 days a week don’t give up because of the time or the weather change. Stay on top of your routine… it’ll make it THAT much easier after the New Year.
- Incorporate festive, healthy recipes to your weekly meal plan. We make a Pumpkin Cauliflower Casserole (recipe coming soon!) that helps get in some extra veggies when we are craving something warm and cheesy!
- Only booze with others. We call this the buddy system. If a glass of wine, craft beer, or cocktail is part of your evening ritual, consider doing without your nightly drink during the holiday season. Alcohol is really just empty calories and those nightcap cals can really add up. If you are trying to avoid holiday weight gain, save your alcohol calories for festivities with friends or family on the weekends!
- Select a smaller plate and pile on ONLY the things you LOVE! At holiday parties, really this tip can apply to all parties, opt for a small plate. Research shows that the bigger the plate we take, the bigger the portion we put on it. If you’re going to indulge in one serving of high-calorie finger foods at a party, go for the ones that will bring you the most enjoyment, so don’t grab for foods you kind of like.
- Be Mindful while you Eat! Sit, savor, and take in all the flavors of each dish you are eating. If you’re going to torture yourself after you eat a treat, maybe reconsider it. But, if you’re going to allow yourself a cheat, savor it, accept it, and then move on.
- STAY ACTIVE! Play games with the kids, go on a family walk, or get in an at home workout before heading out to your holiday festivities. We like to walk around our neighborhood and look at Christmas lights. It’s a fun way to get in a little exercise, participate in some holiday fun, and also a great way to tire out the kiddos!
Put these strategies into practice and get a head start on your New Year’s Resolutions! The sooner you get started, the better off you’ll be — and the less overwhelming those New Year’s resolutions to slim down and shape up will feel.