written by Lisa Luck
The holiday season is a time to celebrate with friends and family. Unfortunately, for many it is also the time to throw away that diet that you have worked on so diligently for the past year. According to the National Institutes of Health, holiday eating can result in an extra pound or two per year! This doesn’t sound like a lot, but simple over eating like this can really add up over the years. So let’s get real, don’t try to lose pounds during the holidays, instead let’s maintain the current weight you have strived for.
1. Wear snug clothes and keep one hand busy. When you wear snug-fitting attire, chances are you’ll be too busy holding in your stomach to overeat. While you stand around looking posh in your holiday finery, hold a drink in your dominant hand so it won’t be so easy to grab food, recommends obesity expert Cathy Nonas, MS, RD.
2.Chew gum. When you don’t want to eat, pop a piece of sugarless gum into your mouth. This works well when you’re cooking or when you’re trying not to dive into the buffet, says Nonas.
3. Be a food snob. If you don’t love it, don’t eat it, says American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Melinda Johnson, MS, RD. Scan the buffet for foods you truly treasure and skip the everyday dishes that are available all year long. And don’t think it’s your responsibility to sample everything on the buffet. Go ahead and indulge in your personal holiday favorites, then find a seat and, slowly and mindfully, savor every mouthful.
4. No skipping meals. Always eat normally on the day of a party. “People who skip meals to save up calories tend to overeat everything
in sight once they get there,” says Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD,
author of Diet Simple. “Eating sensibly throughout the day will take the edge off the appetite and empower a bit of restraint.” Start with a nourishing breakfast, have a light lunch, then a small snack or salad shortly before
5. Check it out. First things first. When you arrive at the party, grab a sparkling water with a twist, and wait at least 30 minutes before eating. This will give you time to relax, get comfortable in your surroundings, and survey your food choices on the buffet before diving in, says Tallmadge. A buffet is an invitation to eat all you can, and unless you carefully scrutinize it and make wise choices, you’re likely to overeat.
6.Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. Savor your favorite holiday treats while eating small portions. Sit down, get comfortable, and enjoy.
7.Bring your own healthy dish to a holiday gathering. This way you’re guaranteed to have at least one healthy option.
8.Exercise: Most people have a little extra time available over the holiday season when they are not at work. Take this opportunity to develop a regular exercise regime. This will help to burn off the excess calories and fat consumed over this period. It will also get you into the habit of exercising, and you can continue the regime after the holiday season is over.
9. Leave what you don’t want: Despite what your parents may have drummed into you as a child, don’t feel obliged to clear your plate. When you feel full, stop eating. NO CLEAN PLATE CLUB AWARDS!
10. Be assertive: Don’t feel as though you have to say yes to everyone that offers you food and drink. If you are not hungry, then simply say so. Do not let yourself be bullied into eating something that you really don’t want.