Fact or Myth: Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain Is Impossible!

This is a MYTH.

Avoiding holiday weight gain is actually very possible. All it takes is fortifying your mind with willpower.  The real danger isn’t the scrumptious holiday sweets and treats that tempt our taste buds; it’s the holiday excuse, “I’ll start eating healthy on January 1st and drop the extra pounds I pack on this holiday season!” According to the National Institutes of Health, that’s much easier said than done. Most Americans never drop holiday weight gain, a driving factor of adult obesity.

Don’t fall victim to the “it’s the holidays so it’s okay to splurge with that extra helping of pot roast,” mentality. Instead, try out the following tactics to help you enjoy holiday parties and dinners without suffering from holiday weight gain.

holiday scaleTactic #1 Eat Breakfast but Arrive Hungry

Many weight management experts recommend eating before a holiday event so that you aren’t tempted to overindulge. We think that takes all the fun out of the holiday season! By all means, arrive hungry to the event and partake in a moderate amount of goodies—exercising portion control and pacing yourself—but don’t starve yourself hours before the event so that you can “eat all you want because you’ve sacrificed calories during the day.” Your body…and your metabolism…just don’t work like that. When you neglect to feed your body when it’s hungry, it enters starvation mode and stores fat. When you finally do eat, it clings to the calories and fat desperately, storing even more fat in case you decide to starve it again.

If you are attending a dinner party, be sure to eat a healthy breakfast and lunch, and build up a healthy hunger for the evening. Skipping breakfast and lunch is never allowance for overeating at a holiday event!

Tactic #2 Choose the Right Food and Beverages

Have a glass of red wine (or two) but don’t go overboard on the alcohol. Not only is alcohol full of empty calories, but alcohol also impairs judgment, making portion control and willpower that much harder to exercise.

Instead of liquor, indulge with water. It might not be as “satisfying,” but it is certainly more satiating.  The more water you drink, the fuller you will feel…and the less tempted you will be to overeat. Feel like grabbing one more cookie, after you’ve already eaten two? Drink a glass of water and check in with yourself after 10 minutes. If you aren’t truly hungry (and after that cup of water you shouldn’t be) then forgo that third cookie!

If you don’t like water, sip on some organic vegetable or chicken broth to keep hunger at bay. Make sure it’s organic, as non-organic broths are full of excitotoxins that can trigger neurological disorders.

High-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and refined whole grains, are natural appetite-suppressants that are filling on far fewer calories than refined holiday snacks. Apples are a particularly filling fruit, as are green, leafy vegetables, which take as many calories to digest as they provide!

Be selective about the sweets you eat. Ever bite into a treat that wasn’t all that tasty? Then why finish it? Wrap it up in a decorative napkin and toss that sweet in the trash when no one is looking!

Tactic #3 Warm Up with Exercise

Bears hibernate during winter…people don’t. Don’t use the winter blues as an excuse not to move your body. Get moving with a game of touch football with your family, or take some long walks and enjoy the holiday decorations.

Staying active will help stave off holiday weight gain!

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