How to Avoid Weight Gain During the Holidays
I’ve read lots of articles and heard lots of advice on what to do to avoid gaining weight – or too much weight – over the holidays. I even asked my kids to give me some suggestions, and they did, in a sweet and gullible way, offer ideas such as “Pack a lunch box with healthy food and eat that instead of the party food”, and “Do 1 hour of cardio as soon as you get back home from the party”. Not bad ideas, if there was more than a 5% chance that people were actually going to Do them!
So, let’s see some tips that people can use when they will be going to parties left and right, in order to avoid the typical holiday-time weigh gain.
First: EAT BEFORE THE PARTY! Yes, eat before, but make it healthy and filling stuff! First, drink two glasses of water (this may be hard, since a lot of people don’t like to drink water but yes, do it, use your willpower here!) Second, eat high-fiber content foods like raw carrots and celery, quinoa, and a serving of chicken or beef. And of course, opt for olive oil, avocado, or yogurt-based dressing with those veggies, obviously not the dressings loaded with carbs. It’s a great idea to be full or party full when you get to the party, same as the tactic used before going to the grocery store, to avoid everything looking so tempting and overeating/overbuying.
Second: MENTALLY PREPARE AND MAKE A DRAWING TARGETING NUMBER 8 on the Hunger Scale. Yes, the Hunger Scale, we have talked about it before in our blog! Is there a rule that says you have to get stuffed every time you go out to dinner or to a party during the holidays? Well, if there is, replace it with a new one that says that a Level 8 is awesome, and that that’s where you’ll stop eating.
Third: MAKE SURE THERE IS SOME HEALTHY FOOD at the party. Either you bring them, or ask ahead and make sure there will be healthy options like salad, broccoli and cauliflower, hummus, nuts and seeds, etc. Fill up a plate with yummy things and eat it first, thus you will leave less room for the gooey stuff.
Fourth: THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK. Whether its loading up on your favorite wine, sugary and alcohol-loaded punch, or even soda, this may be the hardest thing to avoid so don’t “avoid” drinking, “replace it” instead. Share old, funny stories with our friends! Do something different, fun or daring, like singing karaoke, JustDancing, or playing let’s find the hidden presents with your kids (or even the hosts’ kids), and you’ll witness how friendly hormones like dopamine and endorphins bring on happy feelings and you may find yourself laughing and naturally steering away from calorie-loaded beverages and being just as content with sparkling water.
Fifth: CHOOSE ONE DESSERT OR VERY CALORIC FOOD AND TRULY ENJOY IT! Since you have fed yourself already, at home and at the party, and you are having such a good time, your hunger is at a Low. However, your craving for a Delicious dish might still be high, so pick one medium-sized serving of the most delicious thing you can find, walk away from the table, and go to a place where you can relax. Eat slowly, enjoy every bite, close your eyes, don’t talk nor watch tv nor do anything at all except savor it. Yes, Mindful eating. Enjoy it this way, and you will see how that one serving is plenty to get you through the holidays!
Last: GO TO THE BATHROOM AND BRUSH YOUR TEETH! Yes, as soon as you finish that delicious thing, go the bathroom and brush your teeth (you obviously need to have brought toothbrush and toothpaste for this to work, so plan ahead well). You’ll have fresh breath for the rest of the party, plus it will give you a feeling of finalization, i.e, I am done eating/drinking. And in case you were to backslide and reach for more food, it will make anything you put into your mouth taste awful, so you won’t want to eat it!
Sound silly, ridiculous even? During the hectic holidays, these tactics have worked for me! What’s your best tip for avoiding weight gain during the holidays? Please share!