Women's Weight Loss Expert in Wilmington, NC Gives 11 Tips for Saving Your Waistline this Holiday Season

We all know what happens… Maybe it's from what we’ve read about heading home for the holidays or family gatherings. And that's how it’s going to affect our health and fitness goals that we've been so good about sticking to all summer and fall on. 

But then comes the travel…..and the family….and the Holiday parties. With all that temptation, it’s no wonder the average person gains 7-10 pounds during the holiday season. Ouch!

So now that we can see how and why these calories add over over the holidays we can start thinking about the many strategies you can utilize to avoid this weight gain pitfall. The question really is, how do you avoid all the extra guilt induced calories without alienating your entire family, and becoming an outcast in your holiday gatherings? 

Tips for Eating and Drinking

1. Eat before drinking and celebrating.

Skipping breakfast or lunch to “save your appetite” probably isn’t the best weight-maintenance tactic.  Our advice? Stick to a reasonably sized breakfast with plenty of protein, which will keep you fuller longer and temper the urge to stuff your face later.

2. Pick protein.

Like we just mentioned, protein can help maintain a healthy weight because high-protein diets are associated with greater satiety.  Make sure to serve up some turkey, roasted chicken, or prepare animal-free alternatives like quinoa, lentils, or beans.

3. Bring your own.

Rather than try to figure out what’s in every dish at a friend’s party (or avoid eating altogether), bring a healthy side dish or dessert. Taste the what you want, but know you have a healthy alternative to fall back on.

5. Serve meals restaurant-style.

When you sit down for the main event, leave food in the kitchen rather than display a basket full of piping hot rolls, multiple casseroles, and an entire turkey directly on the table. When you’ve cleaned your plate, take a breather, and then decide if you really want seconds. Changing up the environment—in this case, by leaving food near the stove—can help reduce overall food intake. 

6. Fill up on fiber.

Snacking on vegetables and other high-fiber items like legumes can help keep us fuller, longer. Give the vegetable platter a second chance with a healthy, tasty dip.

7. Use smaller plates.

Plate sizes have expanded significantly over the years.  Whenever possible, choose the smaller salad plate instead of a tray-like one. Using smaller plates can actually make us feel fuller with less food. The brain associates a big white space on the plate with less food.

8. Make room for (healthy) fats.

Cutting butter and oil can slash calories but not all fats are bad fats. We need fat in our diets to provide energy and absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, plus fat helps us feel full.

Get healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from avocadoes, nuts, and olive oil (in baked goods, on veggies, or in homemade dressings).  Bonus: Combining fat with fiber—like dipping veggies in guacamole—has been shown to increase fat’s power to make us feel full.

9. Ditch added sugar.

Holiday cookies, cakes, and pies are nothing short of tempting, but all that added sugar may increase the risk for cardiovascular disease and obesity.  Stick to sugar that comes in its natural form (fruits, veggies, and whole grains) and try small tastes of the desserts you’re truly craving rather than loading up a full plate of bland cookies. 

10. Sneak in the veggies.

Munching on vegetables has long been recognized as a way to protect against obesity.  Mix puréed veggies (like pumpkin) into baked good(like pumpkin) into baked goods or casseroles, or sneak them into pasta or potato dishes. Adding veggies increases fiber, which helps make us fuller. 

11. Take it easy on the white stuff.

Simple carbs are often the white stuff—white bread and refined sugars (like those in soda and candy). While some simple carbs can be good for us (a.k.a the kind found in fruit and low fat dairy products), in general, the body breaks down simple carbs more quickly than the complex kind, which creates a spike in blood sugar that can leave us feeling hungrier, faster.  Stick to whole grains and stay full on healthy proteins.

If you have falling victim to Holiday weight gain in the past, a couple of these tips may help you survive the holidays with your waistline intact! Just be aware that you do not have to say yes to everything. And you can say no with grace, or manage portions, and give everybody a heads-up that you might be doing things differently this year. It's not the end of the world! It's about you preserve in your own world. And if you find yourself wanting an extra push come January, then check out our 28 Day Balanced Habits Kick Start, starting January 13th!


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