It’s that time of the year again to cozy up with loved ones and enjoy all the seasonal pleasure that the holidays bring. This could include anything from a plethora of leftover Halloween candy, turkeys both roasted and fried, warm and rich hot chocolate, candied and mashed appetizers and even a long list of delicious holiday desserts that haunt your dietary conscience months before the holiday season even begins.
Most find it difficult to maintain weight on a consistent basis, but the holidays seem to be the biggest battle of the year for a person’s diet.
According to The New York Times, several studies showed that the statistic of people gaining about 7-10 pounds during the holiday season was actually closer to one pound. This might sound like good news but one pound is still significant and let’s face it, the weight gain doesn’t stop there.
So how does one maintain weight during the holiday season that is often labeled as the most wonderful time of the year? By following these five advice tips that are often overlooked but essential to maintaining weight, you can bypass those extra pounds that sneak its way into your body.
1. Eat in moderation.
If we were able to eat however much we wanted, an article like this would be of no interest and serve no purpose. The fact that people gain weight during the holidays is inevitable but also maintainable. Eating in moderation is a step in the right direction to keeping those extra pounds off, and this can be done mainly by not going for a second plate of food. Now, that doesn’t mean pile the goods all on one plate! Getting another scoop of those addicting sweet potatoes that are caramelized from melted marshmallows might take your taste buds to euphoria, but simple carbohydrates do no good to your health and body figure.
2. Exercise frequently.
Exercising shouldn’t be new in one’s mission to weight loss, but it’s definitely something that needs to be reiterated. Taking frequent walks around the block, parking in spaces that are farthest away from your destination, and most importantly, by keeping commitments with those gym dates that often get rain checks, will definitely contribute to this. Exercising helps maintain one’s metabolism that is directly related to the imperative energy that the body uses, which correlates to the amount of calories being burned while at rest and sleeping. In other words, exercising is very important, don’t skip this one!
3. Opt for healthier substitutions.
People tend to believe that the holidays are filled with comfort food, and while this belief is most often true, there are other foods that can provide comfort if given the opportunity. Instead of getting a heaping scoop of buttery mashed potatoes filled with stringy cheese, make a less starchy side of mashed cauliflower. Choose white meat over the dark and at all costs, avoid that fatty skin roasted and crisped to perfection. You can do it.
4. Drink less sugar and cream.
The desire to drink soda and other refreshments filled with sugar and fat comes naturally when eating comfort food like those served during the holidays.
“I eat like a bird any other day, and during the holidays I eat like a pig. I tend to eat and drink way more than usual,” said Shelby Santillan, a Fullerton College graduate. “I tend to eat more tamales towards the end of the year. Also, hot cocoa tends to taste better [during the holidays].”
You’re not alone. But fighting that urge to have a cup of coffee every day that is filled with sugar and cream can significantly help one’s diet. Try caffeinated black tea or simple black coffee sweetened with honey or a natural substitute. Many don’t realize the amount of calories that are being consumed solely from what people are drinking. By choosing water over soda and juice, you give your body the opportunity to reach the recommended daily water consumption also to avoid the devil that sugar is for health.
5. Just say “NO” to Halloween candy.
This one is simple. Just say “No.” Don’t say “maybe,” “just this one time” or anything that sounds remotely like you’re trying to convince yourself that Halloween candy isn’t the aunt of weight gain because it is. If extra help is needed, just read the previous tip about sugar again.
Many feelings of joy and excitement come as the holiday season approaches, which can sometimes trick people into overly embracing the season itself. Be mindful of the resources that are available to help one get through the season not only happily, but also healthily. Find the fun in choosing healthier options and doing something different and active every day and make this holiday season one like it’s never been before (sans excess sugar and fat)!