Holiday Weight Gain. It's the dreaded weight creep. Seems like every holiday season, a few extra pounds show up and don't want to leave. I don't know about you, but I would like to avoid those extra pounds!
How to do it? Without, of course, starving yourself. That's no fun over the holiday season!
Here's 10 tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain -
1. Put the cookie DOWN. There are a TON of yummy treats everywhere this time of year. While I would never suggest you completely abstain, I do suggest you LIMIT. You don't need 10 of Grandma's famous sugar cookies, 3 helpings of your Aunt's amazing pecan pie or the entire box of fudge your neighbor brought. Seriously. Have ONE. Then move on. AND you don't need ONLY ONE of everything. No justifying 147 pieces of junk by saying "I'm only having ONE." Pick and choose your favorites.
2. Portion sizes are IMPORTANT. I know you've been looking forward to that dressing or green bean casserole all year. Think before you scoop! A serving size is typically about 1/4 cup. NOT 1/4 of your plate!
3. Protein, protein, protein. Lean protein is your friend this season! At every meal, enjoy a serving (4-6 oz) of lean protein. It will help keep you full and give your energy until the next meal.
4. Water, water, water. Water is your friend this season! (Are you seeing a trend?) Water keeps you hydrated, helps you feel full and sometimes, when you think you're hungry...you might just be thirsty.
5. Plan for Parties. If you know you'll be in a situation with less than healthy food options, eat ahead of time. Fill up on lean protein, healthy veggies and of course, water and you'll be much less likely to over-indulge.
6. Lighten up on the liquor. Have a drink or two but keep in mind that alcohol is just empty calories. Wine, light beer and drinks 'on the rocks' have fewer calories than sugary mixed drinks.
7. MOVE. The more you move, the more calories you are burning. I know you're busy. Try little things - park as far away from stores and work as is safe (assuming the weather cooperates!). Get up from your desk every hour and take a quick 5 minute walk. Resolve to give your pup a holiday treat and go for an extra long walk each day. This is also a good chance to chat with the kids or hubs! When you're doing something standing at home (brushing your teeth, cooking), do some squats. If you're watching TV, every commercial break, get up and do crunches, jumping jacks, etc during each commercial. Have a dance party with the kids.
8. MOVE MORE. Ok, I know I just talked about sneaky ways to move. But if you really want to up your game, dedicate 30 minutes every day to exercise. The saying goes "30 minutes or 3 miles". If you jog, make sure you get in 3 miles every day. If you're not a runner, get in 30 minutes of exercise - cardio video, class at the gym or check out my workouts here - WORKOUTS.
9. Join a support group. It is SO helpful to have people who cheer you on!
Join a group, create a group, enlist friends and family to help.
10. Lastly, enjoy the season! Don't be so focused on your weight that you lose sight of the reason for the season - spending time with loved ones.