Did you know that the average person can gain 5-10 pounds over the holidays? Now, they don’t always keep them all on. In fact, most people lose most of the weight they gained during the New Year and resolution time. Here’s the problem, they don’t lose it all and as the years stack up, so do the pounds. The average person that overindulges during the holidays hangs on to 1/2 – 1 pound each year. The Thanksgiving Day indulgence alone factors in to be an average 4,500 to 5,000 calories and over 300 grams of fat. That is over 2 days worth of caloric intake wrapped into one! Yikes!!
You may be wondering if there are some realistic ways to keep those holiday pounds from invading your body this year. You’re in luck…there are! You can increase your activity and white knuckle your way through holiday parties, but that’s no fun and more often than not, set you up for failure. So let’s start with mindset! First, treat the holidays as ONE day – too many people treat the holiday as holidays. They lump a whole series of days together and call it the holiday. This creates the excuse to over eat and indulge every day for a week because its “The Holidays!” Think more like this…Thanksgiving is one day. Christmas is one day or two at best. New years is one night. Reserve your indulgences to those days ONLY and stick to your good eating plan the rest of the days. You won’t believe how much easier it is to keep the extra pounds off when you think in this fashion.
With so many holiday parties to attend, it can seem tough to show restraint and keep from eating all the yummy finger foods. But, here’s a good rule of thumb…never go to a party hungry! Basically, eat a good healthy full meal before the event. This may seem like a drag, but the reality is that you’ll probably still nibble a bit when you’re there…just not as much! I also recommend that you set a goal for water consumption during the party. Volunteer to bring the healthy option and bring a lot of it. Even if you are the only one eating it, you’ll feel compelled to not waste it and you might even eat it the next day. Now, if you are the host of the party, then I suggest that you invest in some disposable food containers prior to the event and make sure that all the leftovers go home with your happy guests. This little step can save you and your family from the guilt of throwing food away and it will save hundreds or even thousands of calories from waging war on your waistline.
Sometimes family gatherings tend to go longer than just a holiday party, like all day and into the evening. These are the days where so many people tend to fall off the healthy wagon and end up regretting it later. Let me know you a really simple and super effective tip.
FOCUS ON THE ORDER THAT YOU EAT YOUR FOOD!
Here’s what I mean. Start by drinking a glass or two of water. Once again, set a water goal and have a water bottle with you throughout the day. Once the food comes out – head for the veggie tray. The veggie tray is your friend and on a holiday, it’s your BFF! Then, work in the proteins and fill up. Make sure to slow down and enjoy yourself. Eating too fast will cause you to overeat. If at that point you are still hungry you can have a small portion of carbs and a small dessert. You will be amazed at how eating in a good, healthy order will allow you to enjoy your meal. You won’t feel like you deprived yourself. In fact, it’s possible that you could eat more food (especially veggies) but take in fewer calories. Now that’s a holiday treat!!!
My last tip for you today is to use the buddy system. Find someone in your family or a friend who will share your plan and then check in with each other during the events and even throughout the holidays. You may want to check out Visibly Fit Friends – we’ll certainly keep you accountable! This stuff really works, so give it a shot this year so you don’t get stuffed – leave that for the turkey!