The important thing to remember is that maintaining a healthy weight is a lifestyle – not just part of a diet. And for those people who are already struggling with health issues such as obesity, heart disease and organ transplantation, maintaining a healthy eating routine is even more important.
Don’t let the holidays keep you from exercising. In fact, during this time of year, exercise may help you de-stress and clear your mind of all that you need to do.
Walk the mall before you start shopping, take a new exercise class, or practice some yoga or stretching to relax. An exercise routine helps you stay on track during the holidays and may help avoid holiday weight gain.
Don’t skip meals
You might think that skipping meals is a good way to let yourself indulge later, but skipping meals often backfires on you. If you skip meals, you may overeat at the next meal, or let your hunger make bad food choices for you.
You may not have control over what types of food will be served at holiday parties, but you can have control over what you eat before the party. Let your meal plan provide a solid nutritional base for the day.
Get enough rest
You may think that sleep has nothing to do with eating, but it does. When you skimp on sleep, your body works harder to stay awake, and may lead you to make poor food choices. You might reach for another cup of coffee or a sugary snack to give you some energy. You might skip a stop at the gym because you are too tired. A lack of sleep can sabotage your efforts.
Skip the caffeine after 2 pm, get exercise during the day and avoid heavy foods just before bed. Aim for at least six to eight hours of sleep each night.
Watch the liquid calories
Holiday cocktails and wine with friends all add up to a lot of empty calories.
- One cup of eggnog – without added liquor – has about 350 calories and 19 grams of fat.
- One cup of champagne has about 182 calories.
- One, four-ounce serving of red wine has about 100 calories.
Bring your own healthy dish
Holiday parties mean lots of food, but almost everyone welcomes a healthier option at the holiday buffet. Bring a vegetable platter, a healthy casserole, or a lighter version of another classic holiday treat. You may impress other guests with flavorful, fun treats.
The holidays are not the time to avoid your scale. If you do see pounds creeping on, stop more weight gain as soon as you see it. Be proactive in avoiding holiday weight gain.
The holidays are for spending time with families and friends, and keeping cherished traditions. Just because you’re trying to eat healthy doesn’t mean you have to avoid holiday parties or holiday food all together. Let yourself have a little bit of something you really want, but stick with a little bit. If you do overindulge, go light on the next meal. Be realistic with your goals over the holidays and enjoy what’s most important – time with your loved ones.