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Avoid Eater’s Remorse During The Holidays

November 29, 2013

The holiday season is a time meant for joy, celebration, and spending time with family and friends. But for many this time of year can also bring stress, frustration and unwanted weight gain.

Between family get-togethers, workplace holiday parties, and with what seems to be an endless array of cakes, cookies, pies and other sweets during the holiday season often times the temptation to overindulge can seem overwhelming.  Add in the late dinners at the mall food court after a long day of shopping and it is not hard to understand why weight gain is common during the holiday season.

But with some forethought and a little resolve, it can be possible celebrate the holiday season without seeing the scale move in the wrong direction. Here are a few tips on how to do just that.

STAY ACTIVE

Most of us find it hard enough to find time to exercise when little is going on. Add holidays to the mix and exercise is probably not a priority on our to-do list, unless it consists of running through the mall to catch the latest sale.

By maintaining a regular exercise schedule, you can help to eliminate stress and lessen the holiday tension. At the same time, exercise will help to balance out some of the extra calories you may be eating.

Most people take a few days off during the month of December to finish last minute holiday shopping, so take the time to fit in some exercise as well. It will get you into the habit of exercising, and you can continue the regime after the holiday season is over.

PREPARE FOR EVENTS

Most holiday parties are planned ahead of time. This gives you the option for some healthier eating days leading up to the event. If the party is potluck style, be the one to bring the fruit or veggie tray. You’ll be surprised as to how quickly the carrot and celery sticks are eaten.

If the party is going to be at a restaurant, research the menu ahead of time. More and more restaurants are starting to post their menus and daily specials, so do some research and plan ahead to avoid falling into an unexpected, hidden calorie trap. It will save you the indecision while the waiter is staring over your shoulder and give you the opportunity to mentally prepare for self-control.

DON’T SKIP MEALS

It’s easy to skip lunch or an afternoon snack if you know you’re headed to a holiday party, which is sure to have decadent desserts and plenty of alcohol. You may think that by skipping a meal or two you are saving yourself calories that can be eaten later in the day but this plan has the potential to backfire by causing you to overeat at your next meal. Ultimately, your one huge meal could be more calorie dense than the two smaller meals you would have consumed normally.

To avoid this trap, try adding protein to your lunch or afternoon snack routine, such as low-fat dairy products, lean meats, and unsalted nuts. Most people think twice about snacking, but it actually helps to spread food intake out throughout the course of the day and can often lead to lower daily calorie intake.

BE REALISTIC

The holidays are a time to focus on family and friends, rather than beating yourself up over eating an extra cookie or going for seconds on the stuffing.  Focus on maintaining your weight rather than losing.

Remember that the common holiday temptations are around us all year round. The strategies to get us through the holidays are those we should be applying to our daily lives, regardless of the time of year.

Katie Serbinski, MS, RD

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. JLA permalink
    November 30, 2011 12:39 AM

    great information. I also recently came across this site that offers a ton of information on healthy weight loss foods. i’ve found it very interesting and other people might too. and the good thing, it’s a sciene based site, and not commercial. http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/weight-loss/

  2. elisertruman@gmail.com permalink
    December 14, 2013 1:13 AM

    Love this post! Great advice!

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