Why is it that we cram so many indulgences into a single month? From high-calorie coffee drinks, to cookies, to alcohol, to magnificent feasts, it all happens now…and we mindlessly take it in year after year! Let’s make this December one we won’t regret. No more worrying about losing those extra 10 pounds come January! How do we do it? Here’s 7 ways to avoid weight gain this holiday season.
1. Fill up on veggies.
Make sure the majority of your plate is made up of vegetables. Is salad an option? Serve yourself a big helping! If you attend a party and need to bring a dish to share, bring a veggie dish so you know there will be at least one on the buffet table. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the other fixings; just eat a smaller portion.
2. Drink lots of water.
You’ve heard this one a million times, but staying hydrated will keep your brain from confusing thirst for hunger. It will also keep you full and flush out toxins from any extra junk you’ve eaten this season (not to mention help ward off dry skin).
3. Skip the snacks and candy bowls.
What’s so special about green and red M&M’s or a bowl of chips and dip? You can have those any time of the year! Don’t mindlessly graze just because dishes of empty calories are sitting out in front of you. Remind yourself that you really want to save those calories for Grandma’s epic recipe that she only makes once a year.
4. Don’t drink your calories.
Did you know that holiday coffee drinks, like peppermint mocha lattes, can have nearly 400 calories in them? Treat yourself to one or two, but don’t make a habit out of it. Opt for “skinny” and “non-fat” versions when possible. Alcohol is also a huge culprit in seasonal weight gain. Beware of candy cane martinis and the like. A good rule of thumb is to stick with clear beverages, as dark or creamy cocktails tend to be more fattening (and produce worse hangovers). Limit how many drinks you have while you’re out and skip alcohol while at home, at least for the month of December.
5. Save up for the main event.
Keep your eye on the prize. Perhaps there’s a holiday meal you look forward to year-round. Eat healthy every day and skip superfluous treats in preparation. Steer clear of fast foods and keep your kryptonite out of the house, be it salty or sweet junk foods.
6. Get active.
Don’t wait until January to start exercising. Invest in yourself now, so you can feel good in that holiday dress. Work out on a regular basis and you won’t need to worry about weight gain throughout the season. Bonus: Exercise will give you much-needed stress relief. Can’t join a gym? Take a daily walk with your kids, with your dog, or just by yourself. Isn’t there an audiobook you’ve been meaning to listen to? Open up YouTube and start a workout series, be it yoga or P90X, you’ll find everything for free online. Whenever possible, take the stairs. This leads me to my last point…
7. Park in the back.
You’re going to be doing a lot of shopping between now and the year’s end, even if it’s just trips to the grocery store. Make it a non-negotiable aspect of shopping to park toward the back of the lot, no matter how tired you are. (Always park in well-lit areas at night, however, and stay aware of your surroundings. This means no looking down at your phone while you walk!)
Hopefully with these tips, you’ll avoid the weight gain that is usually associated with the holiday season.