Holiday weight gain is on everyone’s naughty list. It is estimated that people of average weight gain one pound during Thanksgiving and overweight people gain an average of two pounds—and that’s just from one day of eating! What do we when there is a whole holiday season to follow?! Starting as early as Halloween and extending through Valentine’s Day, there is an abundance of treats, snacks, appetizers, parties, and alcohol.
The other problem is that middle age people gain an average of one to two pounds per year, but it isn’t worked off—it continues to accumulate. In addition to all the great food readily available, we are usually under increased stress. Looming deadlines, shopping and giving gifts, financial stress, and family stress are all in full swing.
Holiday goodies plus stressful, emotional eating add up to inches on your waistline and the doldrums when the holidays are over. But don’t despair. By forming some healthy habits now, you can get yourself back on the nice list and be ahead of the fitness game starting in the New Year.
- Keep healthy snacks at your desk and stay away from the break room. When the goodies start to accumulate, having snacks already prepared will help you fight off cravings and make wise choices.
- Keep track of what you eat. Be aware of exactly what and how much you eat. Write it down. Seeing an inventory of where your calories are coming from will help you make changes before the numbers add up on the scale.
- Keep your eating routine as normal as possible. Maintain your usual meal and snack schedule and food choices. Make holiday food the exception.
- Eat a snack and drink a lot of water before going to a party. Feeling a little full will help you limit what you eat at the party.
- Don’t try to sample everything at a party. Take inventory and then savor your favorite treats that are unique to this time of year.
- Make healthy food choices. Fill up on veggies and whole grains and pass on some of the high-calorie appetizers.
- Eat a mint at the end of your meal to signal to your brain that you are done eating.
Most people wait to remedy their holiday weight gain until the New Year. Why wait?
Start your New Year’s healthy living resolutions now. Hit the gym before the new year—increasing your activity level will help you feel less stressed and counter the extra calories. Form healthy habits to keep you feeling nice all season long.