by Kay MacInnis, registered dietician
Most of us enjoy all the fun things that comes with the holidays—parties, good food and presents. We are indulging in sweets, eating larger portions, sleeping less, stressing more, and exercising less than normal. It is the holiday weight gain that is a concern.
Most of us gain about a pound over the holidays. The problem is that extra pound usually stays with us and after a few years we are carrying around a few extra pounds.
Here are a few tips and tricks to navigate the holiday season without gaining weight:
- Keep on track with your exercise program. If time is an issue, maybe devote a little less time to the activity instead of skipping all together. You will find this helps with your sleep and stress level as well.
- Be mindful with your eating. Choose the foods you really enjoy and choose less of them. This is the holiday season and no time to feel like you are on a “diet” but be selective.
- Create a balanced plate, which is half filled with colorful veggies, one quarter filled with lean protein and the remaining quarter filled with healthy carbohydrates.
- Practice portion control. Consider using a smaller plate, like a dessert or salad plate, to help with portion control. This is especially helpful when you are standing in front of the dessert selection!
- Bring something healthy to the gathering. A veggie tray with hummus is super easy and can be put together quickly. The host or hostess will be most appreciative.
- Fill up on fruits and veggies.
- Take it slow if you are consuming alcohol. Choose options that are lower in sugar and stretch out the adult beverages by having a glass of water between drinks.
- Choose healthy foods more often, like turkey or chicken breast, fish, lean cuts of beef and pork, fresh, steamed or roasted veggies, fresh fruit and whole foods. Avoid processed foods such as things that comes in boxes or bags.
- Enjoy the people and places where you gather. Those are the things that truly make this time of the year special.
Kay MacInnis, R.D.