We agree…we love the time with family, the chill in the air, the festivities, and of course, the food! Food is a big part of celebrations – it’s at parties, work, given as gifts, and most of the time, it’s rich, sweet and delicious treats. That makes it pretty hard to stick to a diet, right?
This is a time when many of us tend to get concerned about gaining weight due to all of the temptations around us during the holidays. And, with good reason! Statistically, Americans gain 1-10 pounds per year from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day. From holiday parties to baking goodies in your own kitchen – it can be very challenging to maintain your weight.
While we don’t want this to become more stressful than it already is, don’t allow all of your hard work to go by the wayside by allowing temptations to get the best of you. Food is meant to be enjoyed, and we all splurge once in a while. However, a regular habit of overeating, overindulging or snacking on sweets will likely lead to weight gain.
Let’s talk about how to approach the holidays while making choices that will keep you on track with your goals.
Don’t go to a party hungry! We all know what happens when you’re starving and food is available…you’re going to eat it and probably a lot of it! Being really hungry often leads to poor food choices and overeating. To avoid this, we recommend eating a small, protein-rich snack one hour before you go. This will help you avoid temptations and overeating once food is plentiful.
Downsize your portions. This can be difficult to do, so an easy way to easily decrease portions is to use a small salad plate instead of a full sized dinner plate. The less food in front of you, the less you will eat.
Fill up on healthy foods first. Start by filling your plate with veggies and protein foods first. Eat slowly and savor your food. Wait 20 minutes before going back for seconds.
Step away from the buffet! We tend to mindlessly grab food when it’s nearby. Put your food on a plate instead of picking at the appetizers or buffet. Using a plate allows you to see how much you’re eating.
Limit alcohol intake. Not only do the calories in alcohol add up quickly, they also tend to lead to poorer food choices and overeating. Choose a lower calorie beverage such as wine, champagne or a vodka soda and sip it slowly throughout the night.
Focus on socializing, not the food. What’s important is spending time with family, friends and having fun. Use your time to socialize instead of indulging in food. It can be very tempting to keep nibbling and overeat when you’re having a good time, especially when others are doing the same.
Having trouble with your weight loss efforts? Call Turnure Weight Loss & Nutrition at (916) 624-3500 and schedule a consultation with us. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
Holly Dunn, Certified Health Coach
Lauren Ferrara, Registered Dietitian
Natasha Mikitiuk, Nutritionist