T’is the season for weight gain! Along with all the delicious food around at this time of the year, comes the added pressure to over eat. The holidays also place extra demands on our time, and more often than not, eating out of convenience ends up being the choice for many. So let’s face it, nobody expects to lose weight during the holidays, it’s impossible and will only add extra stress. But we can be proactive by doing some damage control before the damage actually happens, this entails planning and awareness. According to the experts, the key to avoid any holiday weight gain is portion control. It’s ok to indulge in the foods you enjoy as long as you are aware of how much you are eating and are staying within your daily calorie allowance. This way you can enjoy the festive treats without the associated guilt.
Be your own Scrooge when it comes to calories. Try these practical tips on outsmarting your cravings and avoid over indulging this holiday season:
- Workout Before the Event Try to sneak in a workout before the event. Burning off some extra calories will help create ‘room’ for the calories you may end up consuming at the buffet table. But more importantly, after a workout session, you may not want to sabotage your efforts by overeating. A heightened awareness in your physical well-being comes from endorphins (‘feel good’ hormones) that are released during exercise. These hormones leave you feeling energized, optimistic, and confident. You are in a far better position to make sensible food choices when you feel good about yourself.
- Eat Before Arriving Never arrive on an empty stomach, it’s simply a recipe for disaster. Instead, have a healthy snack beforehand, or if that’s not possible, a glass of water will also do the trick. The idea is to curb your appetite.
- Do a Walk-By Before grabbing a plate take a moment to simply walk by the buffet table and check out the offerings. This is a form of planning, it allows you to scan the situation and narrow down your choices before deciding. Instead of trying a little of everything (which can add up to a whole lot of calories!), you will, more likely, only choose the foods that interest you the most.
- Step Away From the Food People naturally seem to congregate around food because food is festive. But the party shouldn’t just be about the food. Make it a point not to focus on the food and explore your surroundings. You’ll find that when food is not the focal point, you’ll naturally find other distractions. Enjoy the company of friends. Conversation and laughter are a great distraction from mindless eating.
- Bring Your Own Healthy Snack Offer to bring something. Not only is it gracious, but it’s a way for you to have a healthy backup plan just in case you don’t see anything else worth trying.
- Wear Something Body Hugging This one is for the gals. Wear a body hugging outfit and you’ll automatically be more conscious of how much you are eating. This works every time!
- Use a Smaller Plate Instead of the regular dinner size plate, opt for the smaller appetizer size plate. Do not pile up your food, keep your selections to a single layer.