Turkey, gravy, pecan pie, it started last month. Holiday parties full of temptations. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the average American gains one to two pounds during the holiday season. Moreover, those couple of extra pounds “will stick and accumulate over the years.”
While the holiday season is probably not the time to lose weight, you can make it a goal to maintain your current weight by eating healthier, making wise choices, and staying active without missing your favorite holiday dishes. Keep reading for some tips that require a little planning and practice.
BEFORE THE PARTY:
– Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. If you wait to eat until the big feast, thinking you might spare some calories, think twice as this might result in overeating.
– Try to include high-fiber foods (like whole grain cereals, fresh fruits, and vegetables) and foods high in protein (like greek yogurt, nut butter) which will keep you full and satisfied for a longer time.
AT THE PARTY:
– Mingle around, don’t attack the buffet right away. Talking is calorie-free.
– Choose a smaller plate and fill at least half of it with veggies, salads, or any veggie-based meal.
– Practice portion control while choosing entrees and desserts, or any food that you really want to taste.
– Practice mindfulness in your eating. Savor every bite by eating slowly, in peace, and paying attention with all your senses while enjoying your food. Before going for seconds, ask yourself if you are really hungry and need a second helping.
– Use moderation while drinking. Alcohol beverages and your favorite seasonal drinks (pumpkin spice lattes, eggnog) are high in calories. Don’t drink your calories. Water, fruit-infused sparkling water, and herbal teas are better, calorie-free options for hydration.
AFTER THE PARTY:
– Be active! Take advantage of any excuse to be get moving: taking the stairs instead of the elevator, choosing a parking spot further away, taking the dog for a walk, biking with the family, registering for a turkey trot or Santa run — as long as you are moving it will be useful.
Meal plans from Lettuce can help you stay on track throughout the holidays. Check out our brand-new Orchard Smoothie offerings for healthy snacks anytime.
Preparing for the holiday season goes beyond nutrition and food. For a comprehensive guide on navigating the unique challenges of this time of year, check out this End-of-Year Guide by GroomandStyle.com. It covers everything from work to mental health to finances and health.
Remember the true essence of the holidays is gathering with friends and family, and the food is a big part of all of it. Enjoy it and feel grateful for it!