The holidays are here, and you know that means it is time to be vigilant about your healthy eating and diet plan. While Grandma’s fudge and those lovely holiday cookies are always delicious, you know that there can definitely be too much of a good thing when all of those sweets start to tip the scales out of your favor. Naturally, no one wants to sacrifice this time of year, and the good news is that you shouldn’t have to give up anything. With a little moderation and some careful planning, you can avoid holiday weight gain this season while still taking part in all of those festive occasions.
Eat Before Social Gatherings
There is no doubt that you are about to face temptation when you arrive to your family’s potluck to discover that the tables are overflowing with all of your favorite goodies. Keep temptation at bay by eating a sensible meal before you head out to your relative’s house or that after-work social. While you may still nibble on a few things to be polite, a full stomach will stop you from feeling the urge to overindulge.
Offer to Bring a Dish
With meals at someone else’s house, you may find yourself with little control over what goes on the menu. Avoid being forced to chow down on fried foods or a dessert that is overladen with sugar by offering to bring your own dish or two. This way, you come off looking like the perfect guest while also allowing you to make sure there is a healthy vegetable side dish or low-sugar dessert on the table.
Hit Buffets With a Small Plate
Today, many restaurants and party hosts are opting for buffet-style serving setups that allow you to monitor how much food you put on the plate. As you line up to get your plate, choose the smallest size available. This will limit you to only selecting the appropriate portions of food, and seeing a small plate filled with food tricks your mind into thinking that you are eating more.
Choose Healthy Substitutions
There will be times when your mind and body seem to rebel against your plans to avoid gaining weight. Yet, you should know that you can give into temptation without breaking your resolve to eat healthier. Many popular cravings can be satisfied with a few simple switches. For instance, you can replace your favorite dessert with a low-fat cheesecake bar, or grab some vegetable sticks to replace the crunch of greasy chips. Usually, appealing to the sensory needs behind the craving makes it go away without you having to wreck your eating plan.
Wait Before Getting Seconds
When you eat something divine, it is normal to want to go back for a normal taste. In fact, you may even still feel hungry right after finishing your plate. On average, it takes about twenty minutes for your body to recognize that you are full. Always wait at least that long before going back for seconds, and you will likely find that another portion no longer sounds so appetizing.
Avoid the Time Crunch
While it’s all fun, the holiday season is full of a flurry of activities that can leave you reaching for a fast meal when you have little time on your plate to cook. Avoid chowing down on a bag of chips or grabbing a fatty burger at the drive-thru by keeping pre-packaged meals on hand. For example, Nutrisystem has full meals and snacks that are fast enough to satisfy your hunger while giving you more time to shop and attend those holiday festivities. Plus as you can learn here, Nutrisystem cost is probably similar to what you’re already paying for groceries:
Keep Healthy Snacks at the Office
When you think about people playing dietary sabotage, the last person you would suspect is your coworker. However, office break rooms are often filled with treats this time of year as everyone else tries to unload their unwanted cookie and dessert trays in a place that is far away from home. Curb the urge to grab a quick sweet by keeping healthier snack bars in your desk drawer at work. This gives you the same quick energy boost without the inevitable crash caused by too much sugar.
Watch What You Drink
The emphasis is often on watching what you eat during the holidays, but all it takes is a few too many glasses of champagne to ruin your calorie count for the day. Alcoholic beverages also contain large amounts of sugar, which can lead to cravings as your blood sugar levels start to drop. Plus, lower inhibitions may make it harder to say no when the dessert tray comes back for a second round. Try to choose non-alcoholic beverages whenever possible, and remember to drink plenty of water when you are running around town.
As the holiday season hits full swing, you just know that you will be tempted to indulge in a few special treats. While you might not be able to avoid all of them, avoiding weight gain is easy when you focus on staving off cravings with healthier foods. By sticking to these tips, you just might find yourself ushering in the New Year fitter than ever.