The holidays are here and you know what that means! Family gatherings, office parties and fun with friends! If you’re the average person, you are at risk of gaining 10 lbs between now and January 1st! After all, this is the time of year where most people indulge in festive dinners, alcohol and holiday treats.
Most people have a hard time staying on track with their goals and either abandon their healthy habits or feel they have to completely deprive themselves. Remember, balance is key! You can still enjoy the holidays and stay focused on your goal(s). As I always say, small changes make BIG differences. The most important thing is to keep your eye on the prize (you are the prize!).
3 Simple Tips to Staying Healthy during the Holidays:
Make conscious food choices
You may not be in full control of the foods offered at holiday parties or family gatherings but you can certainly choose what you will eat and what you’ll choose to avoid. Studies continuously show that carbohydrates are the number one cause of weight gain. Stick with proteins and vegetables for the most part and if you choose to eat any pasta, potatoes or breads, limit the quantity to ½ cup per day.
If you are attending a potluck dinner party bring something you can eat! Assume all the other food served will be rich – high in fat, sugar, salt and calories! Bring veggies and dip (hummus is always a good option), prepare a homemade meat or vegetable recipe or even bring a dessert (follow me on Pinterest for lots of different meal and dessert ideas!
One way to prevent gaining weight is to balance your excess food intake with exercise. You don’t have to start working out 5 times a week but even adding 30 minutes of walking a day makes a difference. If you do belong to a gym, maximize your workouts by incorporating cardio and muscle strength training. The more muscle you build, the more calories you burn per minute while sitting! If you don’t belong to a gym, download the free app Seven for some high intensity interval training that you can do at home.
Think before you drink!
Alcohol seems to be available in abundant amounts over the holiday season in every possible form. Whether your drink of choice is wine, beer or liquor you always need to keep in mind that alcohol contains empty calories. 1 gram of alcohol contains 7 calories and 0 nutrients. It prevents your liver from filtering out toxins and can affect your digestive system, mood and sleep!
You don’t have to completely avoid alcohol but think before you drink: avoid liquors mixed with pop or juice and limit your wine and beer intake to 1 glass if you’re attending many parties or 2 glasses if you’re attending less.
FYI: Vodka mixed with soda or water is the lowest calorie alcoholic beverage you can drink. If you want a 0 calorie solution, stick with water! You can drink as much of this as your heart desires!
Wishing you a Happy Holidays!
Image: “Aged Male Santa Holding Weighing Scale” by stockimages courtesy of freedigotalphotos.net