Americans typcially gain between 5-10 pounds this time of year. Don’t let it happen to you. Aiming to start a diet in January will not make up for splurging over the next two months. The smarter approach is to aim for a balance now so you don’t have to dig yourself out of a two month binge. Here are some tips to help you avoid the holiday bulge:
1. Do not skip breakfast
Many folks tend to skip a meal or even two so save room for the big dinner meal at holiday time. This is a huge mistake. Start your day with a satisfying protein meal such as eggs and whole grain toast. This will truly help control you from eating everything in site come dinner time.
2. Manage leftovers wisely
If you are hosting a holiday meal, chances are that you will have a lot of leftovers. Try to send guests home with a healthy portion in a doggie bag. Refrigerate portions for 1-2 days of leftover sandwiches and freeze the rest. This will limit your temptations to over indulge or finish everything before it goes bad.
3. Monitor your alcohol
Avoid wasting too many calories on your cocktails. Sometimes 2-3 drinks an be the equivalent in calories to an entire meal. Consider a healthy mixture like half a glass of wine with sparkling water.
4. Focus on the people
Holidays are a wonderful time to connect with friends and family that you may not have seen for a while. Take some time to focus on the people instead of the food. Take a walk, play a game instead of lingering at the buffet table.
5. Keep exercise in your schedule
For those of us who do exercise regularly, holiday time is often when workouts are skipped. Try your best to continue to keep your fitness as a priority. Even if workouts need to be shortened, this is far better than skippin them all together. If getting to the gym is a hassle, workout at home. There are fantastic DVDs (my favorites are via Team Beachbody) to choose from and Exercise TV (if you have cable with this option) or their web site is another great choice.
Extra holiday pounds really can be avoided if you plan ahead and keep these tips in mind. Let us know what else you do to avoid holiday weight gain.