With the holidays right around the corner, it means an overindulgence of food is around the corner as well. If you search the Internet, you will find many studies & claims regarding average weight gain over the holidays. I’ve read everything from 3 to 10 pounds gained on average. But following these tips can help you prevent holiday weight gain.
Regardless of what the internet says though, you CAN get through the holidays without gaining weight & could even get through them while still losing weight if you play your cards right.
Here are 10 ways to avoid gaining weight over the holidays:
1] Lean proteins
Typically, one or two of the main dishes at family dinners are a protein. This is to your advantage. But avoid the meats that are marinated in high carb blends or tossed in sugary glazes. Grilled chicken, turkey, fish, etc… are your friend. At Thanksgiving dinner, load your plate up with turkey. A plate with mainly protein will fill you up and not stick to you as fat later.
Every big meal has some vegetable dish that is done up deliciously… load up on it. The vegetables will make you feel full much quicker than other choices you could have, partly due to the fiber in them. Also, you’re keeping to lower carbs/calories by avoiding the starchy mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc.
3] Have something beforehand
This may be one of the most important tips I have. Before you go to your big dinner event, have one or both of these things:
- Something high in fiber. Fiber makes you feel full and will help you eat less when you’re surrounded by all that food. [Can’t help but throw out the idea of having a Quest Bar, which always sound good & cures a sweet tooth]
- Coffee or Tea. Both of them have caffeine, which reduces the secretion of ghrelin in your stomach, a hormone that stimulates hunger & food intake, so once again they will help suppress your appetite.
But having something, will hopefully take the edge off of your hunger, so by the time you have arrived to make your plate, your eyes won’t be bigger than your appetite.
4] Lots of water
Water will make you feel full, therefore suppressing your appetite also. Drink a large glass of water before making your plate & in between alcoholic beverages throughout the night. Why in between beverages? So you don’t get hammered, have terrible judgment and eat half the pumpkin pie while hitting on your sister-in-law. Speaking of pumpkin pie…
5] Avoid pumpkin anything
Pumpkin pie, pumpkin spiced latte, pumpkin Frappuccino, all of it. The syrups in these drinks are extremely high in carbs & calories [even the ‘skinny’ versions of many of these drinks are heavy in calories]. And I don’t need to address why to stay away from the pies & cupcakes I hope.
6] Alcoholic Beverages…
Since I just discussed the lattes that are loaded with sugar, I’ll go ahead and address the alcoholic beverages too; the same goes for them. A vodka-7 has a lot less sugar/calories than a mudslide & many other drinks. Please don’t drink a mudslide.
7] Stuff your face [strategically]
You want to enjoy these big, hearty meals. After all, food is half the excitement of the holidays… But make healthy choices. Skip the mashed potatoes & butter slathered rolls the first time around. After finishing your full plate of healthier choices, IF you are still hungry, go back for a roll. This should help you eat one instead of five.
This year, the Cowboys play the Eagles at 3:30pm CST. No eating after that game is over, which will be around 6:30pm. If you don’t watch football that’s fine, my point is though, don’t eat too late into the evening.
9] Every Meal Counts
If you’re going to indulge and have “just one bad meal”, make your other food choices for the day healthy ones. Have a cheat meal, not a cheat day. And don’t even think about letting that “cheat meal” be an over indulgence of food from 3pm when the family event starts until 10pm when you go home; that my friend, is a cheat day. We don’t do ‘cheat days’.
10] Get Back on Track
The holidays are fun and filled with deliciousness. Food is honestly one of the main reasons I look forward to holidays. But the day after your family Thanksgiving or whatever big meals you had, get back on track. Get your diet in check, hydrate up, & exercise. Don’t turn the holidays into ‘cheat months’ [is that a thing?]. Then you’ll just be like everyone else gaining weight over the holidays, putting off your goals, and it’ll be time for your generic weight loss resolution. The time for your weight loss is now.
I hope that this helps you stay on track over the holidays!
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Thanks for reading!