Did you know that the average individual gains one to five pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day? Those six weeks are marked by celebrations, tasty treats, eating, and drinking. However, people who are already overweight gained as much as five plus pounds. A more recent study found obese individuals had a greater increase in body fat over the holiday season compared to people in the normal weight range.
So, how do you keep extra pounds away while enjoying the festivities? It is possible to still enjoy the holidays and maintain your weight. By making a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) to maintain your weight throughout the holidays. Here are some tips from a dietician to help maintain your weight during this holiday season:
- Move more.
- Bundle up and take a brisk walk outside — the cold air will also rejuvenate you. Make a post-meal walk a new family tradition so you can share the benefits and bond with loved ones.
- If you’re at the mall doing your holiday shopping, take a few laps around the building before you start looking for gifts.
- Dance vigorously to your favorite holiday songs at home or at holiday parties.
- Mind your holiday beverages. Avoid high calorie drinks (hot chocolate, eggnog, alcoholic drinks, and wine).
- Sipping on a glass of water in between holiday beverages will help you consume fewer of the high-calorie drinks. The water will also keep you hydrated, which is especially important if you’re drinking alcohol.
- And keep in mind that there are lots of liquid alternatives that aren’t high in calories: for example, club soda, mineral water or tomato juice with a twist of zesty fresh lime.
- Be mindful of portion sizes. Whether you’re hosting a party or bringing food, make each portion of your dish smaller. For example, cut a pie into 12 pieces instead of 8, or create 48 brownies per pan instead of 24. Make a batch of mini cupcakes instead of a large cake or full-sized cupcakes.
- Make your first course light. Fill up your plate with fresh fruits/vegetables and whole grains FIRST. Then wash them down with a glass of water. Vegetables and water are heavy and take up a lot of space while containing minimal calories.
- Never go to a party hungry! Eat a light snack that has fiber and protein (low-fat Greek yogurt, apple and peanut butter, or baby carrots with hummus.) Drink a tall glass of water with some fresh lemon or lime wedges.
Information taken from: https://www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/holiday-weight-maintenance