We are entering that beloved time of year…the holidays; a time for visiting with family and friends, putting up decorations, and lots and lots of eating. This time of year it is easy to get carried away with all the wonderful food–the turkey or ham, the pies, the cookies, the dressing. Then, following the holidays, there is a massive surge in gym memberships as people make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and work off the over-indulgence of calories from the holidays. It seems that so many ride the roller coaster–over-indulging during the holidays and the plunge into self-loathing following the holidays.
Abstaining completely from the foods we enjoy can have some negative side effects, but it is so easy when there is so much good food around to get carried away. Here are a few tips to help keep you stay on track during the holidays:
- Use smaller plates. By using smaller plates we trick ourselves into eating smaller portions.
- Have the pie. Just try having a smaller slice.
- Have the holiday cookie. Notice I said cookie, not the whole tin.
- Drink water before and during the meal to help fill you up.
- If you know you can’t ‘have just one,’ try preparing holiday items using lower fat /lower sugar ingredients (bonus: it will be healthier for everyone else too and they probably won’t even know).
- Eat more slowly. Your body produces a chemical called Leptin that tells you that you have had enough. When you eat quickly you don’t allow time for that chemical to circulate and you can end up overeating.
- Don’t forget about physical activity. As the temperatures plunge you might be less motivated to do as much outdoors. This combined with an excess of high calorie foods can be a double whammy during the holiday months. Try doing something simple like going for a brisk 10-20 min walk after meals. Not only will you help burn off those pesky calories, but walking after a meal can help with digestion and prevent heartburn, which seems to be much more common around the holidays.
Below are some places to find these and more healthy tips to prevent riding the holiday roller coaster:
Also, click here to see our Thanksgiving infographic.