And we all know the result…an extra 5 or 10 pounds and a major panic attack in January. For those of you under the age of 30, that New Year’s Resolution of yours will take care of things. For those of us over 40, it’s a little more complicated.
What to do? Here are some tips on enjoying good holiday food without packing on the pounds…
1. Practice mindful eating
One of the best things you can ever do for yourself is to learn how to eat mindfully. With roots in Buddhist teachings, mindful eating means paying close attention to the taste, texture, and “mouthfeel” of every bite you take – of slowing down and savoring every single bite.
Mindful eating also means paying attention to internal cues for hunger and satiety and heeding those cues as often as possible. Studies show that mindless eating almost always results in excess calories.
Here are a couple of excellent articles on mindful eating:
2. Stay active
Weight gain can occur with as little as 100 extra calories a day but working out can keep that from happening fairly easily.
I usually plan a longer workout the days before or after a big event to balance the extra calories I consumed. Exercise can also help you manage stress which is likely to come in handy during this time of year.
Here are a couple ways to make exercise fun and easy:
3. Eat regular meals
Many people skip breakfast thinking they are saving a few hundred calories but this practice is ineffective in promoting weight loss. In fact, studies show that people who skip meals frequently are almost always overweight.
By eating regular meals you are much less likely to overeat at parties or when surrounded with yummy holiday food. Sit down and have a balanced meal three times a day; don’t eat in the car or in front of the TV. Have a small snack before going to parties or gatherings where you know there will be lots of food.
I always drink my Shakeology for breakfast so even on the days when the rest of my meals aren’t as healthy, I at least got one great meal in for the day!
Here is how I keep my holiday eating in check:
4. Modify holiday recipes
Many cookie recipes can easily be made with less fat or a fat substitute, like canned pumpkin or applesauce. I have been experimenting with making recipes vegan and so far they have all tasted AMAZING!
Many recipes, you can easily shave a few hundred calories off of each meal without noticing any difference in taste or texture.
I have lots of modified recipes in my weekly newsletter!
5. Don’t drink your calories
One of the easiest ways to gain weight is to drink excess alcohol, soda, or any kind of sweetened drink. Even fruit juice has a fair number of calories and should be consumed in moderation. Choose sparkling water or a natural low calorie beverage when possible.
Most of all, remember what the holidays are all about…being with friends and family. You can enjoy your Holidays and Year End Celebrations without loading up on fat, sugar, and alcohol!
If you want any support or accountability, I have ongoing online support groups for health, fitness, and weight loss!
Join our community…
And love yourself enough to live a healthy life!
See you soon!