Does this scenario sound familiar? After summer ends and the kids go back to school, you develop some better eating habits and are feeling pretty great… until Halloween comes around. Then you eat a few pieces of candy here, a few more pieces there. And pretty soon your hard-won habits have dropped off, and here comes Thanksgiving with mountains of food. You vow to get back on track, but holiday parties and treats are everywhere this time of year, and it’s easy to gain weight.
Let this year be different. Here are some tips to avoid holiday weight gain:
- Don’t eliminate entire food groups. In a healthy diet, all foods can fit, it’s just a matter of how much and how often.
- Don’t kid yourself. Do you know how much you’re actually eating? Guessing usually results in underestimating your consumption. Track your food intake – you can use an app like MyFitnessPal or simply write it down on paper. The point is to track it and be honest with yourself.
- Do eat lots of colors! And by colors, I don’t mean Skittles. 🙂 They’re delicious, yes, but the colors I’m referring to are colors found in plant foods. These phytonutrients are so good for you, and their effects are multiplied when you eat a variety of them. So have your red apples, orange sweet potatoes, yellow peppers, green leafy vegetables, blue blueberries, purple eggplant, as well as white/tan/brown foods such as mushrooms, onions, and brown rice.
- Do bring healthy treats with you to holiday parties. Pinterest is a great source of ideas for fun and healthy appetizers. One of my favorites is a pick with a cherry tomato, a mozzarella ball, and a basil leaf, drizzled with balsamic vinegar. It makes a beautiful presentation, and everyone loves them.
- Do drink alcohol in moderation, if you drink. That goes without saying, but remember that alcohol carries with it a lot of extra calories. When at a party, be sure to drink a full glass of water in between each cocktail, wine, or beer.
- Do find ways to exercise despite the rush and inclement weather. Walking indoors on a treadmill or riding an exercise bike while you watch a funny show on Netflix is a good way to get your exercise in while enjoying yourself.
- Do set goals for yourself. Have someone you trust available to support you and hold you accountable.