The holidays are almost upon us. The time of year marked by good cheer, good will toward all, not to mention good food. Too often, however, the holidays are marred by the stress of the season: getting your shopping done, hosting family, cooking for a small army and the weight gain that comes from all of it. Make this year different, and maintain your healthy eating habits all season long. You’ll look better and feel better so you can do something with your New Year’s resolution other than lose weight. If you’re worried about your eating habits this holiday season, follow these simple tips to avoid that post-holiday bloat!
Smaller is Better
Whether it’s a mint hot chocolate or a slice of homemade pie, the first bite is always the best. Don’t waste calories on a huge portion! If you choose to indulge, savor the flavor but don’t give yourself license to gorge!
Watch What You Drink
Liquid calories like sodas, sweetened iced teas and coffee beverages are often devious – they don’t fill you up so you feel like they “don’t count.” In fact, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins, reducing your liquid calorie intake has more impact on weight loss than reducing your solid calorie intake!
Drink Lots of Water
Staying hydrated is imperative. Drinking plenty of water helps to curb false hunger pangs, flush your body of toxins and keep your skin feeling fabulous. It’s also a great excuse to buy a cute new BPA-free reusable water bottle!
Practice Good Manners
Whether at home, at a restaurant or at a party, good table manners can protect your waistline! Cut only one bite at a time. Put your fork (or spoon) down between every bite. You’ll be able to better engage in conversation and give your body time to figure out when it’s full.
The holidays are supposed to be a happy time. If you’re finding them stressful, take some time to exercise and release some much-needed endorphins (and burn some calories)! Staff at the Mayo Clinic say, “virtually any form of exercise, from aerobics to yoga, can act as a stress reliever.” Don’t think of exercise as an obligation, think of it as a gift!
Remove Opportunities for Mindless Eating
The bread basket, the bowl of chips, that tray of homemade fudge…leaving large servings of foods within reach encourages mindless eating. Dr. Brian Wansink of Cornell University found that moviegoers ate more popcorn when provided with a larger portion size rather than stopping when full. If you’re having a snack, pick a portion and stick to it.
Replace mindless eating with purposeful planning! If you know you have a lot of holiday parties and social gatherings to attend for the day, plan out your meals and make sure you have your shake before you leave the house. Too busy to even whip out the blender? Throw a bar in your purse for an easy meal on the go.
Check out the Healthy Living Guide for tips on how to stay healthy this holiday season.