7 Tips to Minimize Holiday Weight Gain (And None of Them are ’Eat Less’!)
We would like to put forward a motion to change the name of the upcoming months, those commonly known as late-autumn and early winter, to ‘party season’.
Think about it. You’ll probably have more social events between Halloween and New Year’s than in any other two-month period of the year. It’s a great time that many of us look forward to and that helps brighten the first dark days of winter.
But, between catching up with friends, company parties, holiday gatherings with family and ringing in 2018, the party season is full of challenges and pitfalls for anyone who’s trying to eat healthily and lose weight.
Every year, we try to offer tips for managing your weight during the holiday season. This year, we’d like to introduce an overall theme to the suggestions to help you keep them in perspective.
You’ve been down this road before. You’ve been trying to manage your weight for a long time. You don’t need to hear “eat less”, “cut out the sugar” or “don’t drink” yet again. You know it. You get it.
But the threat to your weight posed by all the partying doesn’t just come from ‘what’ you’ll be eating and drinking; but also from the ‘why’ you’ll be eating and drinking them.
You look forward to all the end-of-year gatherings and you want to enjoy them to their fullest. You want to indulge in the foods and drinks that you would otherwise avoid. You want to cut loose a little bit.
But that desire to take part and enjoy can make you lose sight of the goal, a healthier and better you.
Mindfulness is “bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment.” In terms of minimizing the effects of seasonal celebrations on your weight and health, staying mindful, or in the moment, means being conscious of everything you eat and drink. Even as you completely enjoy yourself otherwise.
To give you an idea of how mindfulness can help you get through the holidays in relatively good shape, here are a few practices to try this year.
1. Get Your Mind Ready
Starting a couple days before each party, start being mindful of it. In addition to thinking about who you’ll see, and what you’ll do, mentally prepare yourself to be mindful of what you consume.
2. Don’t Go Hungry
Knowing that there’ll be treats and temptations at a gathering, have a healthy meal before you go so you won’t over indulge just because you’re starving.
3. Wait Before You Say Yes to Seconds
If you’re a fast eater, sometimes you’ll be finished eating before your body realizes you’re full. After the first round of a delicious holiday meal, it’s easy to go for round two. But take a moment to give your body some time to digest what you’ve already eaten, you might soon find you don’t really want more.
4. Put Water to Work When Drinking
Most alcoholic drinks are packed with extra calories, and the effect of the alcohol lowers your will power. Remember to have a glass of water between drinks to soften alcohol’s one-two punch.
5. Give in to Temptations
Yes, you read that right. It’s a losing battle to think you’re going to be in the same room as that chocolate éclair and not have it consume your every thought. So consume it. But do so mindfully. Enjoy each bite, each chew; enjoy it all. When you’re done, keep your goal in mind too.
6. Get Your Rest
Party season can be exhausting and that makes it even more difficult to stay on track. Not getting enough sleep has been linked to increased appetite and weight gain. So try to get a good night’s sleep before party night.
7. Dance Like Nobody’s Watching
Make it a point to get on the dance floor for all your favourite songs, move around the room to greet and connect with everyone and generally be more actively in the moment. When you do, you’ll eat less and burn more calories, which is, just bin case you forgot, the basic guiding principle of weight loss.
If you’d like to learn more about how to enjoy every social event of the season with the peace of mind that you’re staying on track for health and weight loss, call or visit your local Herbal One Centre.