Avoid the Holiday Weight Gain (You Really Can)

I love the holidays, but let’s face it; it can be stressful in many ways.  We are so busy with all of the parties and other activities, how can we avoid the extra pounds that statistically happen during the holidays? 

A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that most Americans gain about one pound during the holiday season.  That may not sound like a lot of weight, but every year this one pound accumulates.

When I think of all the events during the season, four scenarios can usually get us in trouble. To avoid the holiday weight gain, we must have a plan.  Try to put a few new practices into place.

1. The day-to-day hustle and bustle of baking, shopping and organizing our holiday events can add up to additional stress which leads can lead to emotional eating and little time to prepare our own food which can lead to mindless eating. What can you do to avoid it?

  •  Keep a food journal

       We forgot about the little handful of snacks we grab just to taste or how many added calories are in fast food. Keep a record to stay on track.

  • Do not starve yourself or shop on a hungry stomach. You may think that you are cutting back, but once hunger and exhaustion kick in, whatever is available is the first thing eaten, even the cinnamon  roll at  650 calories. 
  •  Don’t bake alone! I don’t know about you, but I definitely eat more cookie dough if I am baking alone.  Make a party out of baking.  You will eat less if someone is watching you.

2. The numerous dinner parties can be exhausting and overwhelming if you are trying to manage your weight. We have to develop a plan so they we are in control of our food and not our food in control.

  • Bring Something. Make sure there is something available that you can eat that includes healthier choices such as fruits and vegetables and fill up first on those items. 
  • Pick the smaller plate. If our plate is bigger, we will probable eat it all. Sticking with a smaller plate makes you feel you are not depriving yourself while eating less.
  • Wait at least 10 minutes. Before you decide you want seconds after eating on a small plate give yourself a break. Many things can happen in 10 minutes including the realization that a second helping is not important to you.
  • Get rid of the food. If the party is at your house, have throw-away containers so that your guests can easily pack a to-go box.

Check out my next blog to see how to manage the next two holiday scenarios that can get us in trouble. You can begin putting together your holiday weight management plan right now.

If you are ready to make lifestyle changes in 2011 and get results in your fitness, weight and/or stress, contact me to learn more about Personal Wellness Coaching with me and a free consultation at 409-550-7606 or Crystal@crystalclearchange.com.