The holidays are a time for celebration, family, and unfortunately, often weight gain. With an array of tantalizing treats and high-caloric meals, it's easy to pack on the pounds. But gaining weight during the festive season is not inevitable. This article provides 10 effective tips to help you maintain your weight and enjoy the holidays guilt-free.
1. Plan out your Meals Ahead of Time
Don't wing it when it comes to holiday meals. Set a plan for what you will eat and stick to it. Make sure your meal plan includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.
2. Watch your Portion Sizes
During festivities, our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs. To avoid overeating, use smaller plates and bowls, and be mindful of portion sizes. Take small amounts of your favourite high-calorie foods, and fill the rest of your plate with lower-calorie options.
3. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is essential to maintaining your weight during the holiday season. Water is not only vital for your health, but it also helps fill up your stomach and reduces the likelihood of overeating. Try to drink several glasses of water throughout the day, and be sure to have at least one glass of water before each meal.
4. Don't Skip Meals
Skipping meals often leads to overeating later in the day. Make sure to have a healthy breakfast, lunch, and snack throughout the day to keep your metabolism active and prevent overeating at dinner.
5. Keep Active
Get moving! Even a 30-minute daily walk or at-home workout can make a huge difference when it comes to maintaining your weight over the holidays. Physical activity not only burns calories but also helps control your appetite and improves your mood.
6. Control Stress Levels
Holiday season can bring on extra stress, causing some people to eat more. Develop stress-reducing strategies like reading, meditating, and walking. Have these strategies in place before the holiday season begins, and practice them regularly.
7. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is a major contributor to holiday weight gain. It's high in calories, stimulates your appetite, lowers your inhibitions, and impairs your judgement. Try to limit your alcohol consumption and replace it with low-calorie non-alcoholic beverages.
8. Choose Healthy Snacks
Get rid of unhealthy snacks that can tempt you to overeat. Instead, stock up on healthy snack options like fruits, veggies, and nuts. These are not only nutritious but also keep you full for a longer time.
9. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation can increase your hunger hormone levels, leading to increased appetite and possible weight gain. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to control your hunger levels.
10. Practice Mindful Eating
Being aware of what and how much you are eating can help prevent overeating. Practice mindful eating by eating slowly, paying attention to your hunger and fullness cues, and enjoying each bite thoroughly.