We're decking the office party halls and making last minute trips to the malls. It's crunch time, and for some it's munch time, this holiday season.
Celebrations like family parties, Holiday Open Houses and Girl's Night Happy Hours fill up our end of the year calendar. Many of us receive numerous invitations between Christmas and New Year's with a call of temptation to indulge in treats.
#1 Weigh Yourself More Often
This time of year, some experts actually condone weighing yourself more often as reported on Health.com. “Weigh yourself twice a week, that's often enough to make sure you stay on track, but not so often that you take all the fun out of holiday noshing," Michael Dansinger, MD, assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine said.
#2 Be Selective
It is important to stick to your willpower and indulge just a little on festive hors d'oeuvres and decadent desserts, so you can avoid weight gain over the holidays. I always say, you should not feel sick after a party.
Health.com expert Dr. Tim Church, MD, a professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University, said, "If you pick the stuff you really want and have it in moderation, you'll stave off those cravings that can get you in trouble later on."
#3 Eat According to the Law of Moderation -- Being Nice not Naughty
Develop and stick to a game plan to avoid gaining excessive weight during this time by imposing what I like to call the Law of Moderation. It is easy to fall into the temptation trap, devouring too many holiday delicacies, like you'll never have them again.
Give it a "one-two" approach --
The Cleveland Clinic suggests that you pick one a day. “Allow yourself one small serving of a cookie or piece of candy each day during the holiday season.”
I also like to take two nice, not naughty nibbles, of my favorite dessert(s) instead of downing an entire plate.
#4 Make it A Motivating Morning
One thing I like to do this time of year is get my workout done in the morning. That way, the last-minute holiday distractions will not get in the way.
I try to give my clients incentives for sticking to their workouts and their weight-loss routine. You may also want to have a reliable morning workout buddy who will help keep you on track.
#5 Plan and Pack
In order to manage your holiday weight gain, it is important to plan ahead before heading out to frolic and play. Have something enjoyable and nutritious at home, so you don't feel deprived. This will ensure that you won't be so ravenous when you get there.
The Cleveland Clinic agrees, and underscores the importance of not skimping on your fresh fruits and veggies this time of year.
“Making sure you eat seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day is a great way to help fill-up your stomach but not your calorie level. When compared to other snack foods like chips, crackers and cookies, gram for gram, fruits and vegetables contain fewer calories and tons more nutrients.”
Pack plenty like it’s a potluck, bringing the healthier option. Take a stand by your tray and graze the night away!
#6 Try to Maintain and Not Gain
The trouble with holiday weight gain is that most of us don't take off those extra pounds after the holidays, and that weight accumulates year after year.
In fact, the National Institutes of Health says that holiday weight gain plays a significant role in the adult obesity epidemic.
Mayo Clinic nutritionists, Jennifer K. Nelson, M.S., R.D., L.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. agree.
“It's commonly thought that the typical holiday weight gain is around 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms). In reality, it's probably less. The catch, though, is that even a small holiday weight gain is seldom lost — adding to the cumulative weight gain that happens over time for most adults.”
By implementing all of these tips tricks and strategies, you’ll wake up New Year’s Day at about the same weight you were when you went into the holidays. And that makes for a happy Holiday Season!
“15 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain – Health.com.” Health Magazine Web 20 Dec. 2014.
“Holiday Weight Gain Slight, But May Last A Lifetime- NICHD.Gov.” The National Institutes of Health. Web 20 Dec. 2014.
“Steps to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain – ClevelandClinic.org.” The Cleveland Clinic. Web 20 Dec. 2014.
“Tips for preventing holiday weight gain – MayoClinic.com.” The Mayo Clinic. Web 22 Nov. 2011.
Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist and Publicist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.
Joanne's fitness plans, recipes and lifestyle advice are available globally on her website http://www.happiwoman.com/ She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband and son, where she runs her fitness and publicity business, JSK PR, http://www.jskpr.com/
Reviewed December 22, 2014
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith