Indulge Without the Bulge: How to Avoid Weight Gain Over the Holidays
The holidays are a really hard time of the year for your wallet and your waistline. Most of us fall victim to weight gain over the holidays, whether it’s from mindlessly binging on dinners or snacking on all the yummy baked goods.
In fact, Americans typically gain an average of at least 5 pounds over the holiday season.
That doesn’t seem like a lot, but it can set you back when you’ve been working so hard on your nutrition program. Just seeing those extra 5 pounds can be super discouraging.
But healthy holidays aren’t impossible. Trust me, I love baked goods just like anyone else! It is possible to indulge in the treats you love without going overboard.
Consider some of these proven weight management tips that can help you enjoy your festivities without regretting it on January 1st.
Enjoy Your Holidays and Indulge…Without Guilt
The first thing that you need to know is that you can, and you should, enjoy those Christmas cookies or that piece of pumpkin pie. It’s the holidays- you should be enjoying this wonderful time!
Weight gain happens when people enjoy their holidays a little too much. If you overindulge, that’s when the bulge comes out.
So is there a happy medium? The answer is yes. There is always a happy medium!
Find Any Way to Work in Exercise
Nobody expects you to take time out of preparing for your family gathering and going to the gym to work out. We aren’t perfect and the holidays are often busy enough as it is.
But there are little things you can do to work in some physical activity. It doesn’t have to be strenuous- just something to get you moving! Light activity is better than nothing.
Try taking an evening stroll with your family to go check out the Christmas lights in your neighbourhood. You could also partake in that traditional family Thanksgiving football game for some fun exercise.
And guess what? Boxing day shopping counts for exercise! 🙂
Sneak in Some Healthy Holiday Snacks
Okay, so you’re not going to replace your famous holiday cookies with fruit sticks. But there are some really delicious healthy recipes out there you can try to include alongside your classic snacks.
If you’re heading to a holiday potluck or party where you know you’re going to be surrounded by unhealthy recipes, bring something healthy. This way, you’ll know that there’s going to be something good to eat and you won’t starve trying to avoid the bad stuff.
You can also try making healthier versions of classic holiday dishes for your own dinner, like the stuffing on this page.
If any of your dinner guests complain about the healthier items on their dinner plate, you can kindly tell them they are welcome to make dinner next time!
Of course, if you want to enjoy a traditional holiday dinner the way that you always do, there’s no shame in that. Just make sure you balance your plate properly- choose more veggies and less stuffing.
Plan Out Your Options
When you’re at a holiday party or at a family dinner, analyze everything that’s available. If it’s a spread of finger foods on a table, walk through and look at everything before you start making your plate.
Think about what you really want to splurge on. Do you love mashed potatoes? Then consider sacrificing some of your stuffing.
If you want to taste everything, take smaller portions. When you love mashed potatoes and stuffing equally, take both, but don’t take giant piles of each.
Try planning out your dinner plate, too. Fit in as many vegetables as you can. Ideally, you want half your plate to be made up of vegetables.
When you catch yourself slacking off at dinner, go easy on the dessert. It’s as simple as that!
Have a Snack Before You Go
Sometimes we tend to starve ourselves all day so we have room to enjoy heaping piles of delicious dinner.
But this is part of the reason that people go through a lot of weight gain over the holidays. If you’re hungry by the time you get to a party, you’ll gorge on everything.
Have a small, but protein-filled, snack an hour before you go out. Even if it’s just an apple, it’s best to have something in your stomach to make it easier to resist temptation.
This will also make it easier for you to pick and choose what foods you really want to indulge in, and which you’re willing to pass over.
When you’re indulging in your holiday cookies, slow down and savour every single bite.
The slower you eat, the more likely you’ll feel full. When you’re stuffing your face with cookies as if you’re never going to taste them again, you’ll eat so many at once you can’t feel yourself getting full.
You know that feeling you get after eating a giant holiday dinner when you feel like you’re going to explode? This is how you avoid that.
Just enjoy the moment in every bite, and you won’t go overboard. You’ll also enjoy the food much more than when you’re just scarfing it down.
I’m Karen! I’m a Certified Precision Nutrition Coach and I’m Here to Help You Enjoy Your Holidays.
I love to indulge just as much as anyone else. But I hate seeing people ruin all of their hard work. That’s why I’m here.
Just like you, I’ve been there. I can help you get fit over 40 because I’ve done it myself, and I’m your living proof you can do it too.
If you feel like you’ve fallen off the wagon, or you just need someone to help you stay strong, join my program. I’m certified through Precision Nutrition to help you get where you want to be.
Join now and get the help you need to start living your best life.