How to Avoid Gaining Weight Over the Holidays
If you’ve lost weight on the HCG Diet and completed maintenance, you’re either waiting to start another round or in “the rest of your life” phase. With the holidays fast approaching, you may be feeling a bit anxious. Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, candy, dessert, wine, beer ... It's easy to over-indulge during the holiday season and realize in January that your jeans have become too tight. In this article, we'll look at the most effective strategies to avoid gaining weight over the holidays when faced with the temptation of all those traditional delicious Thanksgiving and Christmas foods.
Leave your house
Inside is warm and cozy. It's cold out and if you have time off work over the holidays, you want to close the drapes and hibernate indoors. But getting outside and moving around is hugely beneficial for your health and your waistline. If you usually exercise, try and keep up your usual routine. If you don't, suggest a family hike, or even try sledding, skating or skiing, if conditions allow. If you don’t want to be outside, go walk some laps at a nearby mall. Further bonus: You'll be removing yourself from the temptation of that fridge/pantry full of food.
Much of the time when we over-eat, we're ignoring the signals from our body which tell our brain that it's time to stop. By pacing yourself and making an effort to eat slowly, you give your brain a chance to catch up. Take smaller bites and savor that mouth-watering food!
Indulge (a little)
It might seem sensible to avoid unhealthy foods entirely and opt instead for a leafy green salad and a glass of water but too much restriction can be counterproductive. If you completely forbid yourself from eating the tasty treats everybody else is enjoying, you may end up eating more when abiding by these rules becomes too difficult. Don't be too strict and don't be a party pooper. By all means, try every dish on the table. The key is moderation. Just a couple bites of a particular food item may be enough to satisfy your cravings. Research has shown that it's that first bite we enjoy the most anyway.
Don't let the drinks flow
We all know that sodas and alcohol are full of empty calories - no nutritional value and high calorific content. When it comes to alcoholic beverages, you may not think about the effect that drinking these also has on your food consumption. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and acts as a relaxant. If you were previously thinking about your food intake, it's likely that, after a drink, you'll feel it doesn't seem very important after all. Beware of over-eating because you've had a couple of beers! Think in advance about how big your helpings should be and try to stick to this even after a drink.
Many dishes which we eat over the holidays contain hidden calories in the form of butter, cream or sugar. The best strategy to combat this can be to take control of the cooking yourself. Choose a dish to make (or more if you're feeling ambitious) and research alternative recipes for it. As well as making it healthier, you might find a new take on it which you prefer. Plus, cooking is exhausting - after being in the kitchen you'll find your appetite reduced when it's time to sit down and eat.
It's common to put on weight during the holidays, but it's not inevitable. Things CAN be different this year. By following these tips, you can avoid gaining additional pounds while still enjoying some delicious holiday food.