When you're on a diet and trying to lose weight the approaching holidays can be a scary time. It's understandable to be scared, more people gain weight from mid-November to mid-January than any other time during the year. It's just too easy to give in to the pressure and simply accept the overeating and sedentary behavior.
Here are some tips on how to continue weight loss during the holidays:
Watch Your Snacking
I don't know about you, but I love to snack. While snacking is a great way to stay full throughout the day, it can easily get out of hand. Most of the snacks available during the holiday season or things like cookies, candy, and other desserts.
There is no doubt that these foods are delicious, but they are not exactly the best for people trying to lose weight. Whether we go to family gatherings, attend a work party, or even go grocery shopping, snacks are everywhere. Always tempting us… and holiday tempting is the worst!
Now, you don't have to give up snacking at all during the holiday season. However, you should be mindful of what you're eating. Maybe for every one cookie you eat, have a small plate full of fruits and vegetables.
If you struggle with controlling your sugar intake, avoid the cookie and just stick with fresh fruits and veggies.
Liquid calories are incredibly sneaky and can easily create a set back to your weight-loss journey. During the holidays, there is usually an array of different liquids and beverages available at family gatherings or work events.
Whether it's alcohol, soda, eggnog, apple cider, or hot chocolate, it's likely packed full of sugar and empty calories. Empty calories do not keep you full and they easily lead to weight gain.
Many popular restaurants and coffee chains feature holiday-themed drinks. These sound enticing because of their catchy names and delicious ingredients, but you would be shocked to find out how many calories and how much sugar is in these drinks. It's best to stick to water or enjoy a cup of tea or coffee.
Control Your Stress
The holidays are some of the most stressful times people can experience throughout the entire year. This can be for a number of reasons. You may be tight on money when it comes to presents, there might be a certain family member you're not looking forward to seeing, you could be hosting during the holidays and not be able to find enough time in your day to prepare.
Whatever the case, when we are stressed we release a hormone called cortisol. When we have excess cortisol in our body, we can gain weight and even have a greater appetite. Unfortunately, when we're stressed we also crave things such as chips and cookies.
Take some time-outs, slow down, allow yourself to catch up.
The majority of people during the holidays live quite a sedentary lifestyle. This can be for several reasons, but a lot of it has to do with the decline in temperature and an increase in snowfall.
It may also be a family tradition to watch a movie or football game after a delicious meal. While there is nothing inherently wrong with these traditions, if you are continuously inactive during the holiday season, this could contribute to weight gain.
During the time of year when people over at the most, it is crucial to keep your body moving. Consider asking your family members if they want to go for a walk after dinner or play outside in the snow with the kids. This is not only a great way to maintain your weight loss, but it is also an opportunity to spend time with your loved ones.
Continue Weight Loss During the Holidays With Portion Control
Another thing you can do to keep your weight loss on track during the winter months is to watch your portion sizes. You can observe during holiday meals people tend to load up their plates with a bunch of goodies and delicious food items. Watching your portions will allow you to stay in control and make better choices.
There are charts you can find online that suggest what your plate should look like depending on your weight-loss goals. Some suggest your plate consists of 50% veggies and 30% protein at least. While these numbers may not fit with everyone's diet, there is definitely a plate chart out there that will work for you – just Google it!
Don't Forget About Sleep
Many people don't realize that sleep is related to our weight. The better sleep you get, the more likely you are to be healthy physically as well.
During the holiday season, many people often experience sleep deprivation. This can actually cause weight gain. When we don't get enough sleep we are more likely to be less active during the day and consume more calories.
This is because our hunger hormone levels will increase due to the lack of sleep. Having inadequate sleep for an extended period of time can actually lower your metabolism and change how your body functions.
Do your best to get a proper amount of sleep and don't feel guilty if you need to take the occasional nap.
Bring a Healthy Dish
If you're not the one hosting during the holidays, you may not know what type of food to expect. Most people will bring things like desserts, mashed potatoes, candy, and cheese and cracker trays.
Bringing a healthy item for yourself or to share with your loved one is a great way to stay dedicated to your weight loss during the holidays.
You can bring a fruit or veggie tray that has a variety of different choices. Nuts and popcorn are also healthy choices that your loved ones might enjoy as well!
Get some ideas from: Favorite Healthy Foods that Make Losing Weight Easier.
This can apply to beverages as well. Consider purchasing a reusable water bottle before you head out to your holiday events. If you have it with you and keep it full throughout the day, you are more likely to stay full, keep hydrated, and are much less likely to reach for a soda or a cup of eggnog. keep in mind, a single cup of eggnog has over 220 calories, yikes!
Watch the Size of Your Plate
Something that may be a good idea to practice all year round and not just during the holidays is to watch the size of your plate. if you eat from a smaller plate, you are likely to consume less. This is because the brain sees a smaller plate as having more food becasue it looks more crowded. When you have a large plate with the same amount of food, your brain sees the plate as partially empty, causing you to eat more.
This is a great way to control your portions and stay on track during the holiday season. Remember, you may want to incorporate this tip into your every day eating, not just the holidays.
Finally, Be Nice To Yourself!
While all of these tips and tricks are great, it's important to no be too hard on yourself if you do slip up. If you have an extra cookie or an extra helping of stuffing, that's perfectly okay.
You are allowed to enjoy the holidays as much as anybody else, but that doesn't mean it's wrong to want to continue weight loss during the holidays. Just don't overdo it.
Also remember to get enough sleep, eat healthier snacks, stay active throughout the day, and skip those fancy coffee (or other “loaded”) drinks.
Now that you have some good tips to help you continue weight loss during the holidays, there's no reason you can't use those same tips for other celebrations.
You need to make a conscious effort every single day to continue working towards a better lifestyle.
Good luck and happy holidays!