Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
The holidays are a good time to meet friends and family members, and enjoy being together. For many people, holiday gatherings can also means lots of eating. Extra pounds are followed by a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. On average, Americans gain approximately one to two pounds during the holiday season.
Looking for holiday fun with little or no weight gain? Yes, it can be done by following some tips.
· Eat before celebrating
Saving calories by skipping breakfast or lunch isn’t the best weight-maintenance tactic. Not eating until the afternoon may lead to binging later on. A reasonably sized breakfast and lunch with protein and fiber will keep you fuller longer and decrease the urge to overeat later.
· Drink wisely at holiday gathering
Do you know that beverages and alcohol also play a great role in weight gain? A 12-ounce can of regular soda clocks in at 140 calories; a 8-ounce glass of orange juice has 110 calories; a 12-ounce can of beer provides around 150 calories.
A calorie-free beverage may be a better choice than juice, regular pop, or alcohol. Alternate your calorie drinks with diet soda, sparkling water, vegetable juices, or flavored water. Remember that water is always the best beverage to keep your hydrated and is calorie free.
· Eat and chew slowly
Eating slowly may not be easy when delicious options are endless, but it pays off to pace yourself. It takes approximately 20 minutes for the fullness signal to transmit from the stomach back to the brain. The quicker we eat, the less time the body has to register fullness. So slowing down, chew your food several times before swallowing it, and allow your brain time to receive the signal.
· Include lots of seasonal, colorful fruits and vegetables.
Do you like to decorate your holidays with a lot of colors? Treat your plate the same way. Fruits and vegetables will add flavor, color and nutrients to holiday favorites. And they help you feel fuller longer so you can avoid the temptation to overeat.
· Move (Go walk after the meal)
After dinner, get some physical activity. We probably won’t have snow in Oklahoma, so all the more reason to get outside and take a nice walk. This is a great time to “walk and talk” while catching up with family and friends. Get the kids moving too, with an outdoor game.
Eat well and enjoy!