Skip the Holiday Weight Gain
By: Emily Hoffman, MS, RD, LD/N
Thanksgiving is the kick off to holiday eating and weight gain, and it usually doesn't end until you make a New Year's resolution to lose all that weight you gained plus what you didn't lose with last years resolution. While yes, holidays are a time for food family and celebration, try skipping the weight gain this year. Keep in mind that it is way easier to gain weight than to lose it. Do you really want to spend the better part of the next year battling your weight?
To help you stay on track this holiday season, here are a few tips to help you:
- Wear a tight fitting outfit to the meal. This will restrict your stomach from expanding and will make you too uncomfortable to overeat.
- Don't starve yourself before the Thanksgiving Feast. A small healthful meal with lots of fiber (oatmeal, whole-grain sandwich, salad with beans) keeps you feeling full until dinner.
- Drink plenty of water though out the day. Skip the punch, soda, alcohol and eggnog.
- Make time for exercise, especially on Thanksgiving Day. Start a new family tradition that emphasizes exercise instead of eating on Thanksgiving. Sign up for a 5K race, take a bike ride, go for a hike, play volleyball on the beach or organize a tennis tournament for the whole family.
- Munch on fresh fruits and vegetables as appetizers. Skip the dips and high fat appetizers.
- If you are eating at some else's home, bring a low calorie dish that you love. Try bringing a salad, steamed green beans or broccoli.
- Don't eat food just because it is there. You don't have to taste everything. Save your calories for the food you love. Eat small potions of the foods you love.
- Keep your journal and write down everything you eat. This is still the best tool to keep you on track with your weight loss goal.
- Use the small the plate, because the smaller the plate the smaller the portions. Allow yourself to have second helpings of veggies and salad- NOTHING ELSE.
- Eat slowly; you should be one of the last to finish eating. Savor every bite. Give the food a chance to let you feel full.
- Send any desserts or high-calorie foods home with your guests. Split the rest of the leftovers into appropriate portions before storing.
- Focus on the time spent together with family and friends rather than the food.
If you overeat at Thanksgiving or another holiday meal, don't panic. Sure you could have done better, but don't let one mistake be the catalyst that sends you spiraling out of control. One slip up does not undo everything you have worked hard for. Remember where you came from, the weight you have already lost and what your goal is. Then do something about it, try increasing your exercise for the next few weeks and get your eating back on track. The holiday season does not have to determine your weight.
The preceding information was provided by Emily Hoffman, MS, RD, LD/N at Memorial Hospital.