Packing a few pounds especially during the festive months is far from inevitable. Santa being the biggest incentive behind celebration, pampering and having fun to the fullest, calories lurks around every corner. With frosted cookies, chocolates, jelly doughnuts, or eggnog, the majority of us experience unwarranted weight gain during the holiday months.
But you longer have to be scared to stand in front of the mirror a few weeks after the festive days. Learn tackling as how to navigate the holiday party food spreads, your hectic schedules and not ruin your gym routines.
Eat simply and before the party
The abundant palatable and rewarding foods are the biggest reasons behind people overeating during the holidays. They make us want to eat more of them. So why not take the edge off your hunger before those delicious dishes arrive before you. Grab calorie snacks containing protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats before the party begins. Banana smeared with peanut butter or fruits salad mixed with low-fat yogurt can be the ideal option to make your stomach remain full before the party starts.
However, as you have to accompany your friends in the dinner table, here a few tips for eating more simply
- Avoid adding salt or seasoning to your food
- Choose the main dish and reduce the variety of textures and flavoured foods
- Do not add additional fat to your food. Try not to put butter on your smashed potatoes.
Most importantly, eating fast is a quick recipe for an expanded waistline. It takes at least 20 minutes for the stomach to register a full sensation and signal the brain that it had enough. So listen to your body and chew slowly.
Mind your plate size and your portions
When your brain associates a big white space on the plate, it automatically stimulates the desire to overeat. It has been observed that plate dimensions have expanded significantly over the years. So no matter with whom you are partying with (friends or family), choose a smaller plate instead of a tray –sized plate. Smaller plates can actually make you feel fuller with less food.
It is best to fill half of your plate with raw veggies and fruits and the other half can be filled with your preferences. However, you do not have to clean the plate to show your appreciation.
Make alcohol your biggest enemy
Limiting alcohol is not just about calories but about control. Alcohol is your biggest obstacle to weight loss strategies. If you drink a lot you generally will not have as much control over what you actually eat. It does not matter if you are roaming around without a drink. However, if you feel out of place, sip water or soda so that you have something to carry like everyone else.
But as you choose an alternative to alcohol; are you drinking a lot of sugary drinks? Well! This will not solve your purpose. Get hold of fresh lime soda or fresh fruit juices to keep your calorie under control.
Be choosy about desserts
Pastries, cakes, pie, custards are nothing short of temptation. Limit your indulgence or else you run the risk of cardiovascular disease or obesity. Try small portion of desserts you are truly craving for especially if you are one of the types who cannot stop at tiny bite of each sweet items. Make a choice between what looks too good to pass up and what can you live without. Focus on what you will enjoy not how much you can squeeze on your plate.
As you ran an extra mile it does not mean you can have an extra piece of pastry. You must have heard the phrase- move more and eat less. Usually holidays tend to be associated with watching more TV sitting on the couch with a bowl of your favourite fried potato chips. So make sure you get plenty of exercise during the holidays, brisk walks after the meal, extra workout time, standing whenever possible, taking the stairs and reduce TV time.
Make a holiday diet chart
No matter how much your grandmother indulges you to take a second serving, it is okay to respectfully decline. Simply saying; I am full or had enough’ is perfect. Maintaining a diet chart works as a wonder. Your chart must include
- Protein (turkey, ham, lean meat, lentils, protein shakes and beans) associated with greater satiety
- Fiber (oats, whole grains, vegetables, fruits) to keep you full for a longer period of time
- Healthy fats ( avocado, banana, peanut butter, flax) to provide energy
Set realistic goals and stay positive
Impractical targets can slow down your long-term weight loss motivation. Write down your goals and keep them specific to attend it easily. It is better to address those goalsbefore making any health or fitness changes.
Most importantly stay positive about what you eat. The positive messages like ‘I have full control over what I eat’ or ‘I am proud that I have learnt to eat responsibly’ can reframe your relationship with foods. Studies show that positive thinking is closely associated with weight loss. Let me share a small secret-popping a piece of sugar-free chewing gum can keep your mouth busy and reduce your cravings for sweets and salty snacks.
Practice saying NO
Willpower works just like your muscle. Work it out and you get stronger. What is important is to practice keeping oneself into non-food situation. Many of us EAT out of emotional outbursts. We eat when we are angry, super-excited, sad, frustrated or happy. If you observe that you are not enjoying foods, you are likely using foods to satisfy your uncomfortable situations. Key to stopping this destructive practice begins with realizing that you are actually doing it.
So learn to deal directly with your feelings before surrounding yourself with tempting treats.