Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Avoiding Weight Gain During The Holidays.

We are already into November, heading into the holiday season when everyone pulls out all stops.  This is the time when everyone has cookies, pies, big meals, and so many other goodies that it is easy to gain weight. The good news is that most people do not gain the mythical 5 pounds over the holidays.  Instead, they only gain a bit under a pound, possibly as much as 2 pounds.  It is hard to turn down the sweets when your aunt insists on you trying her dish, or going out to dinner at others houses.

Fortunately, there are things a person can do to keep their weight gain down or off entirely.  Rather than sitting down to catch every special, or game, get up and move around.  Get together with the family to walk around the neighborhood.  Participate in organized community events such as working out at the local gym before the thanksgiving meal in exchange for canned food or go on one of those 10 km runs.  

Instead of enjoying cookies, pies, or cakes for snacks, look at either not snacking or enjoying fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, or seeds because these are healthier for us. In addition, watch your portion sizes so you don't indulge too much.  A trick my mother always used was to go for the salad plate rather than the dinner plate because it was smaller and she couldn't put as much on it.  If you have to use a dinner place, do not go back for the second spoonful because you do not want too much food on your plate.  Many of us grew up learning to eat everything on our plates so we will eat everything we put there.  In addition, do not go back for seconds because that is more calories you don't need, even if the food is fantastic.

Another way to keep weight gain down is to slow down, put your electronics away, and enjoy a conversation.  When you are multitasking while eating, it is extremely easy to over eat due to being distracted. When you sit down, take a few breaths before taking your first forkful of food.  Then chew every single bite so that you recognize when you are actually full so you stop. 

It is also important to get enough sleep every night.  When you go out to parties, you are likely to stay up later and sleep less causing you to eat more and exercise less.  In addition, your metabolism tends to slow when you don't get enough sleep.  You also need to watch your stress levels.  Let's face it, planning a dinner for the whole family can be quite stressful.  When you are stressed you are more likely to eat junk food and have higher levels of cortisol which is not good.

Furthermore, make sure you serve protein with every meal.  Many of the dishes served at this time of the year tend to be rich in carbohydrates but don't have a lot of protein.  When you serve enough protein, you are less likely to be hungry and over eat.  In addition, do not eat as many desserts as you want to due to the excessive amount of sugar and you also want to watch the amount of alcohol and soda you indulge in.  Both of these have lots of empty calories which can lead to a weight gain.

One other thing is to make everything from scratch rather than relying on highly processed foods. Boxed stuffing mix, or mashed potatoes often are high in unhealthy fats, salts and sugar also known as hidden calories.  Its the extra calories that can cause the weight gain.  Always find time for yourself to exercise, keep an eye on what you eat and if you mess up, move on.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.   Have a great day.

No comments:

Post a Comment