Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How to Avoid Weight Gain Over the Holidays

Many Americans gain weight over the holiday season. Would you like to know how to avoid that demise? Read on.

1. Eat breakfast the day of the holiday meal. Skipping meals only makes you too hungry and likely to over-indulge in a high-fat meal.

2. Exercise the morning of the holiday meal when you are not so full and when you feel more energetic. You are more likely to get more exercising done. Plus, it saves time for football watching or socializing later.

3. Don't graze all day. Save your eating for mealtime only. Eat a healthy, protein snack (if you must) to keep you from getting too hungry, especially if the holiday dinner is scheduled at a later time than you are used to. If appetizers are served, stick to the fresh vegetables and avoid the dip.

4. Don't taste everything. Unless you are the cook, don't taste everything.

5. Stay out of the kitchen, unless you are cooking. This avoids temptation of grazing.

6. When you serve yourself during your holiday meal, your plate should have half vegetables, one quarter protein source(turkey, ham, beans, legumes, nuts) and one quarter carbohydrates (bread, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pasta, rice, corn).

7. During the meal, fill your plate once only. Don't go back for seconds.

8. Watch out for fat. Minimize the gravy, butter and mayonnaise (for those turkey sandwiches later), as they are high-calorie. Trim any fat and skin off of the meat, which will save you from eating fat.

9. Put your fork down often as you eat. Eat slowly so you will get a full feeling on the one plate of food. Chew each morsel thoroughly, savoring its taste. Enjoy conversation and participate. Stopping to talk will slow down your eating so your stomach gets a chance to feel full before you are tempted to go back for seconds. Put a priority on socializing, not the food.

10. Be grateful for the food you get to eat. Some families don't get to have a holiday feast. Gratitude for what you have will help you not feel deprived.

11. Avoid extra calories. If you must have a slice of dessert, have only one small serving throughout the entire holiday. Don't have a cocktail or beer as they are calorie-laden as well unless you are willing to decline dessert.

12. Spend time remembering past holidays with family and friends. Laugh a lot. It burns calories and lifts your mood. Make new memories.

What is your favorite idea for avoiding weight gain over the holidays? I hope you will take the time to enjoy the holidays.

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