The holidays are coming! All the rich food, festive drinks and assorted parties – it’s a whirlwind and before you know it – you’ve packed on some unwanted pounds and probably gained a few bad habits. How can we possibly tackle the holidays without over-indulging yet still being able to enjoy the season. In correlation to Dr. Andy Fine’s recent discussions on changing diet and adding at least some form of exercise to your daily life, we have found some incredibly helpful tips to aid us through the season.
31 Science-Backed Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
Avoiding holiday weight gain may sound as feasible as Santa fitting down billions of chimneys on Christmas Eve, but we promise there are logical strategies to stay on track. Many of us experience weight gain during the festive winter months, but packing on a few pounds in December is far from inevitable.
Don’t get us wrong: The holiday season is all about celebrating, togetherness, and indulging—in moderation. So pass the eggnog and let’s tackle navigating holiday food spreads, hectic schedules, and sidelined gym routines.
Tips for Eating and Drinking
1. Eat before drinking and celebrating.
Skipping breakfast or lunch in order to “save your appetite” probably isn’t the best weight-maintenance tactic. While the jury’s still out on how important breakfast truly is, not eating until the afternoon may lead to binging later on. Our advice? Stick to a reasonably sized breakfast with plenty of protein, which will keep you fuller longer and temper the urge to stuff your face later.
2. Pick protein.
Like we just mentioned, protein can help maintain a healthy weight because high-protein diets are associated with greater satiety (bonus benefit: It’s important for healthy muscle growth). Make sure to serve up some turkey, roasted chicken, or prepare animal-free alternatives like quinoa, lentils, or beans.
3. Bring your own.
Rather than try to figure out what’s in every dish at a friend’s party (or avoid eating altogether), bring a healthy side dish or dessert. Taste what you want, but know you have a healthy alternative to fall back on.
Additional Tips for Eating and Drinking – Click to View Full Story
4. Eat and chew slowly.
5. Serve meals restaurant-style.
6. Fill up on fiber.
7. Use smaller plates.
8. Make room for (healthy) fats.
9. Ditch added sugar.
10. Sneak in the veggies.
11. Just say no.
12. Wait before grabbing seconds.
13. Take it easy on the white stuff.
14. Invest in some toss-away tupperware.
15. Freeze it.
16. Turn off the tube.
17. Chew gum.
18. Turn your back on temptation.
19. Beware of booze.
20. Cave in to cravings.
21. Choose tall and thin.
22. Gulp H2
Tips for Moving and Mindset
Emotional eating to make ourselves feel better when we’re sad or anxious can interfere with weight loss goals. But meditation—using techniques like muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and mindfulness—can help binge eaters become aware of how they turn to food to deal with emotions. This is especially important at parties where there’s a ton of food on display.
24. Set realistic goals.
Come New Year’s resolution season, it’s easy to set lofty goals about weight loss. Since impractical targets can slow down long-term weight-loss, it’s important to address those goals before making any health and fitness changes. Write down your goals — keep them specific and attainable — and post them somewhere highly visible, like the refrigerator door. If your goal is “stick to two cookies at every holiday party” seeing it periodically may help you commit.
25. Stay positive.
Many of us demonize certain foods and even punish ourselves for indulgences. Instead, positive messages like “I can control my eating” or “I’m proud that I ate responsibly today” can reframe our relationship with food. Research shows positive expectations are associated with weight loss. Even if it feels a little silly, try telling yourself at least one positive affirmation per day.
Additional Tips for Moving and Mindset – Click to View Full Story
27. Let go of limitations.
28. Get functional.
29. Sleep smart.
30. Partner up.
31. Move it and lose it.