Hint: Be like the reindeer and not Santa!
The holiday season is upon us, and if you’re like most folks, that translates into lots of parties, family feasts, and general merriment in the form of extra calories. For a lot of us, it begins on Halloween when our kids bring home bag loads of candy and doesn’t end until after we toast in the new year.
But even though there will be tons of food and drink, there are ways to keep it under control and avoid gaining those customary “holiday pounds” while still enjoying all the season brings. Take a look:
Prepare to party!
Before you go out to holiday parties, be sure to eat healthy throughout the day and hydrate by drinking enough water. Avoid going out the door too hungry because this will just tempt you into indulging in more of the unhealthy calories that are likely to be served. If you know that there will be certain foods that you really want to eat, consume fewer carbs and calories than you normally would beforehand so you reduce the risk of going way over your daily target.
Think small plates!
A buffet that’s chock full of casseroles, potatoes, veggies doused in cheese or sauces, breads, fatty meats, and heavy-hitting desserts like pecan and pumpkin pie and snickerdoodles is a dietary nightmare! A great way to handle this is to grab a small plate and just sample a few of the items – think portion control. Taking a smaller plate means you’ll have less room to pile on food, so you’ll end up eating less than if you’d taken a dinner-sized platter.
Give yourself a break
It’s the holidays, so it’s ok to indulge a little. While you don’t want to ruin all your progress or have to let the waistline out of your pants in January, it’s ok to have that small slice of pie. And the more disciplined you are during the day, the less damage you’ll be doing when you do allow yourself a treat. Just remember it’s better to have a small taste of the most decadent treats than to feel deprived.
Mingle instead of munching
If you’re really focused, you could spend your time at parties enjoying the company of friends and making new ones. Conversation has zero calories! So talk, laugh, and have fun as much as possible – and as far away from that buffet as you can.
Limit your carbs
One of the biggest culprits in holiday weight gain is the abundance of foods that are carbohydrate rich and have little-to-no nutritional value. Those candied yams are fantastic – but they’re also packed with sugar, so if you must indulge, remember portion control. And the same goes for the biscuits, mashed potatoes, and homemade macaroni and cheese – all are delicious, but poor choices if you’re trying to maintain your healthy lifestyle during the season. One small scoop is all you need!
Take it easy on the cocktails
Synonymous with celebrating, cocktails, wine, beer, champagne, and egg nog are just glasses full of calories, sugar, and alcohol that stack up when you start sipping. While it’s perfectly fine to have a glass of wine or your favorite drink at a party or gathering, minimizing your consumption is a good idea if you don’t want to end up with thousands of extra calories (or having to contend with scandalous pictures from the company party showing up on Facebook).
Choose protein when possible!
Whenever possible, choose foods that are high in protein over other appetizers and entrees that are less nutritious. Protein is always a top choice because it will fill you up and make you feel full longer, reducing the temptation to eat those foods that are not as healthy. Hummus, nuts, lean meats, and fish are all great sources of protein.
Getting through the holidays without putting on the pounds can be a challenge, but if you follow these tips, you’re less likely to make poor choices that you’ll regret later. And if you’d like personalized guidance and help with losing weight or maintaining a healthy lifestyle, talk to us about the Plantation Wellness program and Ideal Protein.
This medically proven method has helped many people achieve their goals and can do the same for you. Give us a call at 954-452-4590 or fill out our contact form to learn more.
Dr. Nina Coletta has been practicing Podiatric medicine for nearly 20 years and is the owner of Plantation Wellness Center. For the past 30 years, Dr. Coletta has been a fitness and nutrition enthusiast. Her passion for health and wellness, along with a strong desire to help her patients live healthy lifestyles, led to the selection of Ideal Protein as her platform of choice for weight loss.