These tips from UAB EatRight will get you through the holidays without going up a dress size.
- Keep Your Routine. If you normally eat at 8, noon, and 5, continue to eat at those times to prevent over eating at the big holiday feast or party. If dinner isn’t until late, have a healthy snack such as a broth-based soup or some fruit with peanut butter; then eat less at dinner. You are far more likely to overeat if you show up to dinner starving and looking to reward yourself.
- Don’t Skip Meals. It may sound smart to save your calories for the big event ahead, but it can easily backfire. Instead, make the meals that you are eating healthier by cutting out unnecessary calories where possible. Halve your typical amount of salad dressing or have an open faced instead of full sandwich. These few little calories really add up and give you a bit more wiggle room later.
- Don’t Succumb to Holiday Stress. The body’s response to stress often leads to an increase in appetite, which eventually leads to a larger waistline, guaranteeing even more stress. If you are all wound up over what you are going to eat and then you make a mistake, you may irrationally decide to throw in the towel and just give up.
- BYO Healthy Food. If the occasion you’re attending calls for guests to bring food, whip up something good-for-you and great-tasting. That way, you’ll be confident that there will be healthy food at the party you can enjoy.
- Get Plenty of Exercise. Don’t skip out because your schedule is packed. Take an extra 10 minutes a day and go for a walk, move around while doing holiday prep work, and park in the back of the parking lot during your errands.
- Sleep Tight. Sleep deprivation can result in a hormonal response that is connected to weight gain. When you are well rested, you are more likely to make smarter decisions about food and stay focused on your goal of weight maintenance.
- Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate. With the holidays comes a bevy of celebratory beverages, many of them high in calories. It’s okay to indulge, but create a smart system: have water before and between every glass of alcohol or other beverage.