Maintaining Current Weight through the Holidays
With Halloween and Thanksgiving behind us and the December holiday season rapidly approaching, now is the time to be engaged and mindful about maintaining your current weight. Here are some of our best tips for staying at your current weight while heading into the New Year.
Mindful Food Consumption. Over the next four weeks or so, you will be invited to several holiday parties with family, friends and colleagues. Try eating a later lunch or snacking before the party so you are not starving upon arrival. High protein diets are associated with increased satiety so incorporating proteins during the holiday season is always a smart choice. Some of our favorite non-animal based proteins include quinoa, beans and lentils. If you chose to select some animal-based proteins during the holidays, stick to leaner meats such as turkey, grilled chicken and filet mignon. Consuming holiday desserts doesn't have to be dangerous; try sticking to the desserts that don’t have added sugars or just sample the desserts you’re craving. The quicker we consume food, the less time our brain has to react to the body’s fullness, so eat slowly and allow 20 minutes in between courses.
Beware of the Booze. You’ve heard this a million times but don’t drink your calories—unless of course they are nutrient-dense smoothies. If you’re going to indulge in some alcoholic beverages this holiday season, steer clear of the creamy and sugary pumpkin spice cocktails, apple ciders, eggnogs, and similar deliciously tasting cocktails. Your body will quickly break down these sugary cocktails causing almost an immediate spike in blood sugar with the sugars turning into fat stored in the body. Also, the closer you are positioned to the where the alcohol is being served, the more likely you will actually consume (same goes for food). As simple as this may sound, turn your back to the bar to take your mind off ordering a final, final beverage.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate. Dehydration is one of the major causes of hangovers. If you’re planning to consume some adult beverages during holiday parties, make sure to pregame with alkaline water before leaving home. Also, drinking a glass of water in between alcoholic beverages helps to not cause dehydration and shrinkage of brain tissue which leads to headaches. Prior to going to bed make certain to drink 1-2 glasses of water so the body will not be grabbing water from the brain while you sleep. The consumption of water also helps people to feel full, thereby decreasing the temptation to consume additional calories.
Move More and Be Engaged. Inevitably partaking in holiday parties will be accompanied by more calories than normal, so moving more at the gym or throughout the day should be a serious goal. Instead of getting on the first car of the train, riding the escalator or parking in the closest parking spot to your destination, be mindful of taking more steps than you would normally. If you can’t find the time to get to the gym, remember using your body weight for exercises to increase your heart rate works well too. While the holiday season is supposed to include a lot of cheer and joy, it can also include stress due to family time, travel and expectations. Try to mediate using muscle relaxation and breathing techniques to aid in control emotions and temptations.
You have to take care of yourself before you can take of others, so don’t deprive yourself of such satisfying pleasures during the holidays. Instead, indulge in moderation by incorporating these healthy tips for a brightened holiday season with friends and loved ones.