Tis the season for overstuffing ourselves is finally upon us! Dinner parties, work potlucks, frosted cookies, eggnog at your neighbor’s, jelly doughnuts at the office, or chocolates in your stocking. No matter where you turn, extra calories are around every corner. All these calories add up, and if you’re like most Americans, you’ll put on a pound or two by New Year’s Day.
So what’s the harm in a little holiday weight gain, especially if it’s just a pound? According to researchers, most Americans never lose the weight they gain during the winter holidays. The pounds add up year after year, making holiday weight gain an important factor in adult obesity.
But you don’t have to follow these holiday food traditions. It is possible to enjoy holiday goodies without putting on a single pound. Portion control is the key, It is not about restricting the food you like to eat or even restrict indulgences, but it is the about the amount you eat.
During this Holiday season of delicious abundance of naughty foods, it’s not easy to go on portion patrol when the temptations are endless. Here are compiled helpful tips to help you avoid overindulging.
Workout in the Morning
To avoid that slower metabolism during the holidays, Develop an annual habit of a harder than average workout on the big eating days of the holidays. Go for a 45-60 minute walk or jog or bike to get your metabolism going in the morning. For added caloric burn, add in some weight training or calisthenics for 20-30 minutes.
Don’t Arrive Hungry
Planning ahead can help you maintain discipline in the face of temptation. Don’t go to a party when you’re starving. Try to have a nutritious snack beforehand. If you do arrive hungry, drink some water to fill up before filling your plate.
Do Not Skip Meals
Skipping breakfast to eat a huge lunch can affect your metabolism in a bad way. Skipping a meal will keep your metabolism low, and eating until you are stuffed like a turkey will definitely make you feel like sleeping in front of the television. This food habit can be a prime weight gain time for your body.
Divert Your Attention
Many people forget that there’s more to a holiday party than food. Don’t look at the party as just a food event. Enjoy your friends’ company or dancing. Focus on something other than the food offered. Make chatting a great diversion, whether you’re at a small family dinner or a large party. Take your mind off of food and focus on the conversation.
Have you ever tried telling yourself you’ll only eat during the first half hour of a party? This strategy is a mistake. If you binge eat as much as you can in half an hour, you will chew faster. Chewing more slowly will fill you up with less food.
Munch at a leisurely pace, putting your fork down between every bite. This puts you in control over food. Eat very slowly and enjoy the flavors. Try to chew your food at least 30-40 times per mouthful. These actions will allow your hungry – full response from your brain to tell you are satisfied. It takes the brain about 20 minutes to let you know you are full.
Count Your hors d’œuvres’
When there is hors d’œuvres’ pushed around on the platter, it’s easy to lose count of how many you eat. Keep track by stashing a toothpick in your pocket for each one. Set a limit and stick to it.
Outsmart the Buffet
When dinner is served buffet-style, use the smallest plate available and don’t stack your food, and limit your helpings. Go for the simplest foods on the buffet. Fresh fruits and vegetables and shrimp cocktail are good choices. Watch out for sauces and dips that can add countless calories!
Avoid drinking too much alcohol at holiday parties. It’s not just about calories but also about control. If you indulge too much in drinking, you won’t have much control over what you eat. If you feel out of place without a drink, try sipping water or club soda, so you have something to carry like everyone else at the party.
Confuse Hunger With Thirst
Chew sugarless gum and/or drink water. Most people confuse hunger with dehydration. Drinking a glass of water will usually take care of the food cravings. This is not skipping a meal, however just a way to work through temptation. An optimal level of water per day is 1/2 to 1 gallon a day. Add one extra 8 ounce glass of water per every 10 pounds overweight.
Be Selective About Sweets
When it comes to dessert, be very selective. Limit your indulgences to small portions and only what is very tasty to you. Personal rule on sweets, if it’s going to have calories, choose chocolate!
If you decide on sampling several desserts, try only taking a tiny bite of each one. You have to know yourself when, it comes to these cravings. If you can eat one bite of something and stop then attempt this approach. If you know you’re the type who can’t stop at one bite, then take a small portion of a single dessert, rather than piling your plate with several treats you want to try.
Bring Your Own
Whether you’re going to a friend’s party or an office potluck, consider bringing a low-calorie treat that you know you love. Bringing your own dessert will make the more fattening alternatives less tempting.
Don’t feel pressure to bring dessert that is the typical holiday fare. Get away from thought on what holiday food has to be. Many friends and family love fruit!
Limit Sampling While Cooking
If you do a lot of cooking during the holidays, crack down on sampling. You can lose your appetite when you’ve been cooking because you’ve been eating the whole time. Instead of sampling mindlessly every few minutes, limit to two small bites of each item pre- and post-seasoning. Simply put the spoon in and taste a little bit. Not a big spoon scoop! For your own tried-and-true recipes, dare yourself not to taste the dish at all until it is served.
Walk It Off those Sweet Calories!
Make a new holiday tradition by walking as a family. Besides burning some extra calories, this will get everyone away from the food for a while.
Get off your couch and move around and about! Go out for a walk as a family before or after the meal. Walking not only benefits you physically but also puts you in a mindset to be more careful about what you eat. This exercise activity will put you in control over food and unwanted calories!
Thank you for reading!
Neil Saint Angeland
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These statements have not been evaluated by, the US Food and Drug Administration. Eniva Health products do not treat, reduce, cure or prevent disease. Proper weight management should be accomplished with a good diet and exercise. Eniva Health supplements are meant to assist the body’s efforts in weight management and do not guarantee weight loss. Consult your health care provider before starting a supplementation program.