10 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

The holidays represent an incredible challenge for anyone who’s trying to watch their weight. As you move from one gathering to the next, you’re met with tables full of holiday treats that you wouldn’t normally indulge in, so you dig in, thinking you’ll tackle the extra pounds in the new year. Instead of making your New Year's weight-loss resolution even harder, why not attempt to get through the holidays with nothing to show for it except for some great pictures?

At Harmony Clinics, under the expert direction of Dr. Micheal Moisant, we offer a wide range of health care services, including supervised weight-loss programs, to patients in Wichita Falls, Texas. While we’re happy to provide you with the tools you need to achieve a healthy weight, the work you do on your own, especially during the holidays, can make all the difference.

To get you started, here are 10 tips to help you avoid holiday weight gain.

1. It’s a sampling, not a feast

One of the best ways to avoid overeating at a holiday function is to think of the table full of goodies as a sampler, not a feast. Instead of grabbing a large plate and piling on the food, choose a smaller plate and only take enough of each food to sample it. That way you’re not missing out on any of the holiday delights, as you’re able to try each one.

2. Eat slowly and mindfully

Holidays are a great time to catch up with family and friends, so use this time for conversation rather than eating. Take your small plate to the table and sit down to have a thoughtful conversation, slowly nibbling away as you go.

3. Don’t skip meals

One of the biggest mistakes people make is to skip meals in preparation for a holiday feast. We urge you to eat a normal breakfast and lunch so that you don’t arrive at the holiday dinner famished.

4. Get moving

After your meal, or before you arrive, make it a point to get some exercise. The holidays are a perfect excuse to take a break from your normal exercise regimen, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go for a walk around the neighborhood or invite everyone out for a family game of football.

5. Get your zzzs

The holidays are exciting, and you may want to stay up late so that you can catch up with family and friends. But lack of sleep may increase the hormones that control your hunger, so try and get the rest you need.

6. Find fiber

If you want to curb your hunger, fill up on foods that are chock full of fiber. Vegetables, fruits, and nuts all fit this bill nicely. (Although watch your portion size on the nuts.)

7. Mind those drinks

Since holidays are social occasions, the odds are the drinks will be flowing. Be careful not to overindulge as the calories in wine, beer, and spirits can add up quickly. By capping your alcohol intake, you’ll not only avoid packing on the pounds, but you’ll also feel much better in the morning.

8. Don’t avoid the scale

If you routinely weigh yourself, don’t use the holidays as an excuse not to. Nothing holds you more accountable than that number on the scale, so weigh yourself throughout the holidays so that you can quickly reverse any upward trends in your weight.

9. Substitute ingredients

If you’re doing the cooking, try to use healthier ingredients that aren’t full of empty calories. For example, substituting applesauce for sugar is a great technique, as well as using herbs and spices to flavor your food rather than fat-laden sauces.

10. Stop the slide

The holiday treats are tempting, and if you fall prey to the cookie platter, go easy on yourself. Sure, you overate, but you can quickly put a stop to it at your next meal. The trick is not to let the slippery slope of holiday eating take over.

If you’d like more tips for weathering the holidays without packing on the pounds, feel free to contact us at 940-233-1822 or use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.

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