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The holidays are a hard time for anyone trying to maintain weight, let alone lose weight! Why is that? What makes it so hard for us to control a few days of holiday eating?
Well, it is because the holiday turns into leftovers, business parties, Friendsgiving, holiday happy hours, leftover cookies and chocolates at the office, and more.
Every bit counts, no matter how big or small. So how can you navigate all the days between the holidays without becoming holiday plump? Here are some tips to help!
If it is a party night, don’t think about it during the day.
Don’t try to skip breakfast or lunch. This will most likely only cause you to over indulge later on and make choices that were not even worth it!
Eat a filling snack before the party or event.
May sound silly but it is to help you not make choices based on hanger! We all know when you’re hungry, everything looks better. You don’t want to snack on too many chips, or those previously frozen hot dogs in a blanket, just because you were starving!
Pack a healthy snack such as a 100 calorie pack of almonds or string cheese.
I’m not telling you not to eat at the party, but it may be helpful if a few “better” choices are hard to find. At least this way you can try something and then know you have a healthier snack with you.
Hang out away from the party kitchen, bar or buffet
Out of sight, out of mind! Don’t let the tray of wings, buffet line, or dessert trays stare you down! Why tempt yourself even more?
Have a good time and socialize.
You went to socialize, to laugh with friends, and see family. Take the focus away from the food and focus on what is truly important this holiday season.
Look before you taste and choose wisely.
Don’t grab the first thing you see that looks good, because you may see a lot! Scan the food, take a lap, maybe find out what others are saying. Then choose what it is you really want to try!
Find the Veggie Tray
It may not be exciting but it gives you something to munch on while others eat. This also helps you control your hunger as you decide what is actually worth trying. Just try not to have veggies covered in oil, grease, or with high calorie dips.
Choose lean protein
This will help fill you up with lower calories in mind. Just try to make sure it is grilled, baked, or broiled protein. Stay away from fried options and anything covered in sauces or cheeses.
Use the smallest plate
This is an easy way to help you portion control. Then think twice before refilling the plate!
Wear the outfit you feel best in!
If you feel your best, it is easier to make good choices for yourself! It is easier to socialize and mingle, and staying away from the cookies is easier.
Make the first round a seltzer with lemon.
You do not have to avoid alcohol altogether, but make sure to hydrate first and wisely choose your one or two drinks.
Choose your drink wisely!
Ideally you want to use a calorie free mixer such as seltzer or diet coke and use one simple alcohol, such as flavored vodka. Even try asking for diet tonic or exclude the simple syrup in the drink you ordered.
Say no thanks to eggnog or other creamy alcoholic drinks.
Sad to say, these simply can have more calories than a meal if it is a large portion and have just as much sugar as desserts! Well, because it should be treated as dessert!
Hold a water glass, clutch, or phone to keep your hands busy.
This will help you feel more comfortable as others are holding large plates of food. It also buys you some time to make smart choices! That is the name of the game - play it smart!
Avoid taste testing
If you need to make food for the party, make something healthy you can eat, but make sure not to eat it all while making it! At the party, remember every bit counts to your body, so don’t go just taking a taste of it all.
Pick one thing you really want to try!
Don’t deprive yourself. Many of these foods are only served during this time of year, so if there is something you love, go for it! Just be mindful, it is your treat. Again, choose a small plate and try not to over indulge.
Hang with a healthy buddy.
Have a healthy buddy if you can. This way you are not alone in making all the responsibly healthy decisions! Be prepared to say “no, thank you” together, or I’m going to take a look around and see what I am really craving first!
Walk around the room, dance, stand up and mingle! Sometimes getting to the gym can be hard during the holidays so it is keep to find activity wherever you can find it! Plus if you are using your muscles your body can better use any calories you are eating!
Keep foods at home and at your desk healthy!
Lastly, make sure to keep your home environment healthy! Don’t leave any temptation out on the counter or somewhere you will reach for it. Freeze the leftovers to choose them on a day your train or want to treat yourself. This way it is a thought out decision and not impulse.
These are a lot of tips and tricks to help you stay on track while enjoying the holidays! They may not all work at once but learn your habits and choose a few to always keep in mind. The holiday’s only come once a year just as many of these foods do. The name of the game is “balanced”. Enjoy the food, but most of all remember what the holidays are about and help others to do the same!