Have you ever struggled with weight gain, weight maintenance, or just feeling lousy from the way you eat during the holidays? I have! And so have most of my clients. We are all human and we love to eat. The holiday season can be especially hard for those looking to lose weight, or just to maintain their health.
What are the biggest reasons?
- You likely have high-calorie foods everywhere…(My wife Tiffany bakes for the neighbors so our house is FULL of delicious baked goods.
- You may be spending more time with family and friends (Yes, I know we are in lock down but people still seem to show up, right?)
- And there are plenty of virtual or small party gatherings you have probably been invited to.
But how can you manage to keep your goals on track, if you are invited to parties where there are tasty treats tempting you everywhere? It’s actually easier than you may think.
Here is how you can still stay on track and enjoy the festivities:
1. Choosing Your Foods Wisely
There will be plenty of foods to choose from, so you need to be sure you’re making the right choices to keep your weight loss on track. Studies show you consume the most food with your first plate, so make the best choices that keep you moving in the right direction. Be sure to choose lower-calorie foods, like veggies and fruit, and including lots of appetite-suppressing protein to fill up on first. This leaves less room for the high sugar, high-calorie items that aren’t helping you feel good and achieve your goals.
I’m not saying to skip them, just reorder the way you eat them.
2. Drink Responsibly
Alcohol can supply your body with lots of empty calories that often go straight to your hips and waistline. And, most glasses don’t have an easy measuring system, so filling up your glass may give you double, if not triple, the calories you’re expecting. If you are even concerned with the liquid calories.
You could opt for a lower-calorie drink option or simply count for 3-seconds to make sure you’re getting the right serving size (check out our FREE healthier holiday drink guide on our homepage).
3. Get Your Sleep the Night Before
If you want to be sure you’re not going to overdo it at your holiday party, be sure you’re getting plenty of sleep the night before. This tip goes for all scenarios, and not just for holiday parties. Studies show people getting less than 5 hours of sleep, crave unhealthy foods, and have increased appetites. This could easily derail your progress—especially if there are lots of high-calorie desserts or entrees around.
4. Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a process where you take smaller bites and you chew slower and longer. This process does two things for you: 1) it really lets you appreciate the food you’re eating, and 2) tricks your brain into thinking you ate more, so you feel full faster. This could be one of the easiest ways to cut down on calories.
5. Use a Smaller Plate
This tip can be used anywhere and is not just reserved for parties. When you use a smaller plate, it gives your body the impression that you ate more than you really did. Plus, when you’re adding salad, fruits, and veggies to your plate, there’s not much room for anything else (except protein).
You can save yourself a lot of calories, just by switching to a smaller plate. This is a regular practice at my house and works great.
As the holiday season ramps up, you may be invited to parties each weekend. And this may be great for your social life, but might not be that great for your waistline. But, if you keep these tips in mind next time you hit the party circuit, then you could maintain fun this holiday season while keeping your weight loss—or any other goal—in check.