Holiday time is quickly approaching! Holiday time you say? Yes, that joyous time between Halloween and New Year’s (approximately 63 days) that we spend gathering and celebrating with friends and family. These celebrations are filled with delicious foods, seasonal treats and lots of libations which can result in extra pounds on the dreaded scale!
These extra pounds can seem insignificant but in the long run they add up quickly!
Research shows that the average person puts on a few pounds over this holiday period but does not quite take them all off in the New Year. This leads to 2-3 pound weight gain each year. 2-3 pounds a year seems small but if this pattern is repeated each year then 10 years later you are up 30 pounds and that is not insignificant!
So the questions is, how do you still enjoy the fun and spirit of the holidays without sacrificing your waist line? You have a PLAN! That’s how and you start now, before Thanksgiving!
Having a plan in place will:
SO, what’s the plan? Here is my 5 step plan to staying on track during the holidays!
Make an effort to dial in your nutrition and increase your activity now, way before the holidays! Focus on whole food nutrition as much as possible. Load up on lean protein and tons of veggies at most meals adding the occasional rice, quinoa, potatoes, fruit and legumes.
You don’t have to eat a super low carb diet BUT being conscience of your carb intake is most important for weight maintenance. Carbohydrates increase blood glucose, which stimulates the release of insulin which promotes the storage of fat. If we can keep our blood glucose low then the body is less likely to store fat!
Carbohydrates also create that viscous cycle of hunger and fatigue! The more we eat them, the more we crave them! So limit sweets and treats to special events for sure! So really dial in on carb control on non-social event days! This will allow for more wiggle room at that family meal or holiday party.
Hydration is so important for weight control. Proper hydration helps reduce hunger and cravings, keeps your bowels moving properly and improves your sleep! When we neglect to get enough water in, everything suffers! Hunger increases, cravings increase, we get constipated and feel bloated, we become fatigued and sluggish! This can all lead to us wanting to nibble and graze and make poor food choices. So aim for at least 64 oz of good ole plain water every day!
Try to not miss out on your regular exercise. Make it a priority to get your workouts in. You will feel better if you stay active! Exercise will definitely offset the savory meals and holiday treats!
Prior to any social event or holiday meal, come up with a plan. Think ahead what might be served and what you could stick with to stay on track. Offer to bring a healthy dish so you know there will be at least one option to eat. Drink lots of water during the day to keep yourself well hydrated and eat a small high protein snack prior to the event so you are not starving! Try not to eat as soon as you arrive at the event, take a look at your options and wait. Once you start eating it can be hard to stop. Keep tabs on alcohol as those calories can add up quickly. Alternate alcohol with sparkling water throughout the night. Don’t linger around the food and most important, enjoy yourself!
Having a plan to tackle this holiday season will ensure weight maintenance. It will allow you manage your weight over the holidays, putting you in great position to jump back in at 100% in January to continue to work towards your long term health and wellness goals!
Looking for some holiday recipes to keep you on track that the whole family will enjoy? Download my free holiday guide below!