Food Is Not Your Enemy

How to Avoid Gaining Weight This Holiday Season
December 10, 2015, 4:51 pm
Filed under: Healthy Lifestyle, weight loss | Tags: , ,

Welcome to December–a month we may love, or a month we may fear. There’s much to love: time with family and friends, parties, gift-giving, and indulging in our favorite holiday foods. But many of us have such a fear of gaining weight this time of year that it colors the whole holiday season for us. It can get to the point where we dread receiving an invitation to a good friend’s holiday party because we know we’ll see those pigs in a blanket and butter cookies there and completely lose control.

Here are some tips to help you through the coming month, and hopefully keep your weight from fluctuating as you enjoy the holiday season …

Feast on feasting days. This is my mantra from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Eat whatever you like on the big holiday feasting days—but don’t treat the entire month of December as one big feasting day. There’s no reason you should be eating twice what you’d normally consume on a random weekday, using the justification that “hey, it’s holiday season!” Writing off all of December in this way is a guaranteed way to gain 5-10 pounds.

Eat super healthy on non-event days. So on days when you don’t have a holiday party or a big dinner at Grandma’s house, choose very healthy foods. On the days leading up to Thanksgiving this year, for instance, I made a point of cooking a few dinners in a row that were vegetarian and pretty light. Eat lots of veggies, fruits, lean meats, and pay attention to portion sizes.

At parties, be mindful about quantity. For both food and alcohol, you may want to go in to the party with an idea of limits—you’ll only have x number of drinks, and you’ll only eat one of each type of hors d’oeuvre, etc.

Eat warming, comforting foods. This is not the time of year to eat all salads, all the time. It’s cold out there, and you’ll want to nourish yourself with warm, seasonal foods that satisfy you rather than leave you feeling chilled and wishing you had something heartier to eat. Soups, stews, sweet winter squashes, yams, and for some of us, a little extra meat are just what we need.

Take care of yourself. Amidst all the rushing around and last-minute trips to the mall, remember that you don’t want to run yourself ragged. Allow yourself enough time for a good night’s sleep. Stick to your exercise routine. Relax when you can with a good book or your favorite show. Savor your time with family and friends.

Happy holidays, everyone!