8 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain During the Holidays
Holiday food: from work gatherings to family dinners, it’s a difficult time for those who are trying to stay healthy and not gain weight. You can enjoy the holidays; just be aware and mindful of what you’re eating. Here are eight great tips to help you enjoy the holidays and still stick with a healthy eating plan.
1) Plan ahead and don’t go to the party hungry
If you are human, which I hope all of you reading this are, you're prone to overeating if you let yourself get too hungry. That means, DON’T PURPOSEFULLY skip meals to “save up” knowing you’re likely to overeat at that holiday party later on. If you're reading this and you still plan on “saving up calories”, just think about how you’re going to feel after you overeat at that party. Is that a good feeling?
2) Cut back on taste-testing
Wait until you are ready to make a plate of food before eating anything. When it is time to eat, fill up a dessert-sized plate for those who have had bariatric surgery, or a 7 to 9-inch plate for those who have not had bariatric surgery.
3) Don’t hang out in the kitchen or around the food table
It’s way too easy to graze and munch on food when it’s in your line of sight. Have people gather outside of the kitchen to cut back on temptations. Try not to stand or sit looking directly at the food.
4) Focus on Socializing
Remember, you are gathering with family and friends to spend time together and make memories … not to overindulge in food.
5) Practice saying no politely
You know it’s going to happen. Your mom, grandma or some other loving person is going to try to get you to eat more of their dish and/or take some home. If it’s a tempting food for you DO NOT take it home. Politely say no, tell them that it was fantastic (even if it wasn’t), and tell them you are really trying to watch what you eat this holiday season. Then walk away.
6) Use a buddy system
Choose a close friend or family member and give them permission to say something to you if you’re going back for more food or reaching for another dessert. Just remember that if you give them permission you can’t get mad at them!
7) Be active with family and friends
Gather one or two people and take a walk after the meal. Grab a football or baseball and play catch with the youngsters. If you are lucky enough to have a winter wonderland go sledding with the kiddos (or by yourself if that’s more your style)!
8) Find ways to de-stress
The holidays can be a stressful time. If you tend to be a “stress eater” be extra aware of your stress level during the holiday season. Find ways to de-stress like taking a walk, calling a friend, meditating or journaling.
By Liz Wray, RD, Bryan Bariatric Advantage