For those trying to lose weight, the holiday season - which comes with pumpkin pies, extra servings of gravy, and tins of Christmas cookies - can be daunting. According to the National Institute of Health, holiday eating can result in an average of an extra pound or two every year. Resisting temptation only becomes more difficult after numerous company luncheons, Christmas parties, and holiday baking; creating the urge to overindulge or fall off the healthy-eating wagon.
By balancing healthy eating with regular activity and still importantly, fun, you can stay on track this holiday season. The following tips can help you avoid the dreaded weight gain.
By following the healthy tips below, you will be on your way to enjoying all your holiday parties, while also staying in control of your eating.
- Do not leave the house on an empty stomach—it promotes overeating.
- Avoid standing near the food table, a sure-fire way to overindulge.
- Make socializing your top priority; conversation will keep you occupied and away from the food.
- Limit your drinking; alcohol increases hunger and lowers willpower.
- Offer a low-calorie alternative; for example, if you have volunteered to bring a dessert, bring fruit rather than a cheesecake.
- Listen to your stomach; reduce your portion sizes and stop eating when you feel satisfied rather than stuffed.
Cooking and Baking
If you are the one hosting, use that to your advantage—it puts you in control of what will be served. For example, substitute high-fat or calorie-laden ingredients with healthier choices, such as using an egg substitute rather than a whole egg. There can also be a downfall when it comes to hosting: the temptation to sample the food while you are preparing it. To help you resist the urge to snack while cooking try to:
- Keep your mouth occupied with a piece of sugar-free gum or sip tea to reduce your urge to sample while you cook.
- Prepare foods on a full stomach. You will not be as tempted to taste what you are making.
Cocktails and Beverages
Before you reach for the eggnog, remember that some mixed drinks may have as many calories as a dessert. It’s fine to indulge in some holiday spirits, but keep the following suggestions in mind:
- Pace yourself; drink water or seltzer between drinks. The more you drink, the more the temptation to snack increases.
- Try ice water with lemon or non-caffeinated soft drinks.
- Consume mixed drinks with diet soda, club soda or tonic when possible.
At the MedStar Franklin Square Bariatric Program, we offer support groups and educational seminars to help you stay on track before and after your weight-loss surgery, especially during the difficult holiday season. Let us help you lose weight.
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