|Photo via appforhealth.com
By Winnie Gaturu
Limit your Alcohol intake
Alcohol and weight management don’t go well together. First of all, alcoholic drinks are full of calories which we often ignore. This means that alcohol has its own share of calories you should look out for. Secondly, alcohol lowers your self-control when it comes to eating. You might find yourself going for seconds and thirds when you’re intoxicated. So stay away from alcohol or limit your alcohol intake during the holidays.
Focus on having fun
Stay away from the food
Seriously! Stay away from the food especially at holiday parties. Your proximity to it makes it easier to binge eat. It’s always safe to stay as far as possible from the kitchen or the table where the food is. To make this more manageable, ensure that you don’t attend a holiday party while hungry. Always eat some food or a nutritious snack to make it easier for you to manage your eating habits. You can also drink a glass of water beforehand just to fill up your stomach a bit.
Balance in the proteins and fiber
Holiday meals are full of carbs which translates to a lot of calories. With this in mind, you should make a conscious decision to eat more protein and fiber rich foods. Good sources of protein include poultry, legumes, fish and red meat. You can get fiber from legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. For every serving of carbs you eat, ensure you eat a serving or two of proteins and fiber. Eating proteins automatically reduces the amount of calories you eat by increasing the levels of appetite-reducing hormones to reduce appetite and also increases your metabolism. On the other hand, fiber induces fullness thus making you eat less.
Pick a smaller plate
Always pick a small plate whenever possible especially at a buffet. This means that you’ll need less food to fill your plate hence making you eat less. Choosing a smaller plate makes it easier to control your portions easily. You’ll be able to enjoy your meal without overindulging yourself with the calories. If you can’t find a smaller plate, use your best judgement to estimate food portions that are appropriate for you.
Manage your stress levels
Holidays can be really stressful, especially if you’re organizing and hosting parties. You have to find a way to keep those stress levels down. Research has shown that stress prompts the increase of a hormone called cortisol in the body. Cortisol has been linked to triggering high appetite and cravings which lead to overeating and weight gain. Some of the things you can do to control your stress levels include deep breathing, meditation, yoga and exercise.
Make your own food
If you want to control the calories during the holiday season, make your own food as often as you can. Although it might be more convenient to buy boxed mashed potatoes and other processed holiday foods, they contain unhealthy fats and excess sugar. These are definitely not good for you if your aim is weight management. Instead of the boxed food, focus on making your own meals from scratch so that you can control the ingredients and stay on top of your weight.
Following these tips will help you avoid gaining extra pounds during the holidays. However, it is normal to slip up once or twice. The important thing is not to give up and get back on track even after you let your guard down.