The holidays can be one of the hardest times of the year to maintain a healthy diet. With all the temptations, copious amounts of foods and beverages, and multiple heavy meals throughout the day, it is essential that you stay on top of your health during this time. Many of us throw it completely out the window- resulting in weight gain that was much easier and fun to put on. We have some healthy holiday tips that will help you navigate this time of year much easier.
Don’t skip meals. It seems logical: Forgo lunch; leave more room for pigs in blankets at the office party later. But arriving starved may result in overeating, and drinking on an empty stomach will give you a quicker buzz…that is more likely to lead to mindless munching. Eat normally during the day, and be strategic at the buffet. Don’t bother with things you don’t absolutely love. Splurge on something special (hint it’s not the cheese balls), then stop.
Count your bites. Many appetizers are about 60 calories a bite. Making just five bites add up to around 300 calories (a whole meal!). Try filling a small plate, just once—so you don’t go overboard.
Turn down the homemade family desserts. It’s better to sit with a little guilt than to overeat just to please loved ones. Simply say you are full, or that you’ll get some later to avoid any confrontation.
Give yourself a break from the gym. According to a Gallup poll, the percentage of people who exercise regularly is lower in December than at any other time of the year. So don’t beat yourself up—you’re not the only one who’s too busy for spin class. But try to stay active in other ways. Speed-walking with shopping bags counts and so does cleaning, Add some toning by tightening your core muscles as you vacuum or reach for scattered toys (imagine trying to get your belly button to touch your spine). And most important, get back into your regular exercise routine once the holidays end.
Weigh yourself every day. Or try on a pair of snug-fitting jeans to gauge those subtle ups and…OK, just ups. The point isn’t to get obsessive and berate yourself over every ounce gained; it’s to prevent yourself from completely letting go of good habits. You don’t want to have to start from scratch on January 1,” says Macdonald.