It is that time of year again! The average American gains 2-5lbs over the holiday season. The good news is that if you are an average weight and a healthy eater your weight gain tends toward the lower side of that range. The bad news however is two-fold; if you are overweight you tend to gain toward the higher end PLUS the average American does not lose the holiday weight each year. (The average adult gains 1-2 lbs per year each year as they age.)
I get many questions regarding the holidays and how to manage the food, alcohol and festivities without impacting your weight. The interesting thing is that many “holiday” tips are ones that you can incorporate all year long. These are my top 5 tips for staying on track during the holidays.
- Continue with your exercise plan! This is the number one thing that gets dropped when we get busy and it is the BEST thing that we can do to manage our stress and our health. Find ways to incorporate exercise and stick with your plan.
- Be selective with your holiday parities. We have a LOT to do and a LOT of friends to see. Give yourself a break and realize that you do not need to attend every function. This will also allow you to cut down on the drinking and rich foods…stay home and cook.
- Do NOT go to parties hungry. Saving up your calories and treats for an event never works. Eat healthy and moderately throughout the day – keeping your energy and your blood sugar levels under control. Have a healthy snack right before you head out the door! This will give you the ability to make better choices when you get to the event and not jump on every appetizer!
- Avoid “grazing.” Take a plate, select your food, eat it, enjoy it and you are finished. Do not hang by the food table and find yourself mindlessly eating chips and dip. Get a hold of yourself and PAY attention!
- Have an occasional splurge and get over it! I love dark chocolate and ice cream ….I eat it and enjoy every bite. Know which foods you will not be able to pass up during the holiday. Plan for the treat and do not beat yourself up for it or let it send you on a downward spiral. Move on. Guilt is never a good motivator to keep you on track.
As many of my nutrition clients already know – my philosophy is that “balance” is the key to success. Find your balance! It is different for everyone and only you can truly determine what that looks like for you.
Happy Holidays to you and your families. I hope you enjoy the season and continue to eat for your health!