Research shows that the average person gains 7 to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
This of course is most likely water weight due to sodium and retention, but still, who wants to feel all fluffy and see the scale creep up? Not I!
If you are amongst the many who feel crappy from too much holiday weight gain, fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way this year.
Holiday’s aren’t about being strict or miserable around food.
I strongly believe you should not only enjoy the people around you but also good food, in moderation.
Below, I will give you tips on exactly how to do it!
How to Have Your Cake and Eat it Too (The Healthy Way)
- Don’t starve yourself. If you will be at family or friends house to celebrate the holiday, more than likely you won’t be eating until late afternoon or evening. Many people plan to barely eat anything all day just so they can pig out later. But don’t do that this year. You will only set yourself up for failure and possibly a stomachache from overeating. Your best bet is to eat light until you get to the food you’re craving for. Protein, veggies, and fruits are great example of eating light. You can save the carbs for later.
2. Get in a sweaty workout. Not only is exercise a great way to be healthy overall, but it also burns a ton of calories. You will already be eating a bit more than usual for the holiday, so exercise will boost your metabolism and give you a little extra calories to enjoy for the day. That’s a win, win!
3. Fill up on protein and vegetables. So much yummy food is around during the holiday, but the last thing you want to do is fill your plate with starchy, high sodium and fatty foods. Not only will those types of food make you feel icky, but you will get full a lot faster than if you fill your plate with lean protein and veggies. I’m not saying you can’t enjoy carbs, but eating more healthy, low calories foods won’t make you feel stuffed or sick afterwards. It will even help you save room for dessert!
4. Limit the sugary beverages. We all know that juice, soda, and alcohol are all empty calories. (If you didn’t; shame on you! JK!) Anything other than water is filled with sugar and other additives, so drinking too much of it throughout the day will give you a sugar rush, make you feel fuller than you actually are, and lead to crashing (extreme tiredness). You most likely will eat more sodium than usual, so I personally would stick with water just to keep everything flushed out throughout the day. That will help you avoid unnecessary water retention. But if you absolutely can’t drink only water, no worries! Limit sugary beverages to 8-12 ounces.
5. Avoid unnecessary snacking. It’s easy to have a little taste of food here and there while convincing yourself that it’s okay because you only had a little bit. But friend, every little bit adds up. A few slices of ham, 1 deviled egg, a tiny slice of cake, etc only adds to your calories for the day. What may seem harmless to you, if done frequently, can actually amount to an extra 200 calories! Try to skip the snacking and stick to what’s on your plate.
6. Skip the extra desserts. Hold your horses. I’m not saying you shouldn’t eat any yummy dessert for the holiday. I am, however, suggesting that you keep a close watch on how much of it you eat. Just like juice and sodas, desserts are filled with many sugars and other things that can make you feel sluggish if you aren’t careful. Don’t skip the pie or cake, but DO skip the pie, cake, cookies, and cupcakes. Your body doesn’t need or can handle too many sweets in a day.
7. Throw out perfection. It’s the holiday, so I understand the unlikeliness of not sticking to every suggestion I made above. (If you do, big kudos to you!) If not, it’s okay! The holidays aren’t about having anxiety when it comes to food choices or eating until your pants can’t button (although leggings are super helpful around this time of the year– you’re welcome!). It’s an opportunity to spend time with family and friends, be helpful to a stranger, and give thanks for each and every thing.
In the midst of your festivities, make wise choices (please DON’T drink and drive) and enjoy every moment.