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The holidays are quickly approaching, and with them typically come some added pounds. From munching on leftover Halloween candy to a Thanksgiving feast to too many holiday cookies, it’s way too easy to put on extra weight this time of year. Unusual schedules and travel add another level of complication. Here are some tips for maintaining your weight over the holidays.
Eat Before You Go
If you’re going to a holiday party where you know there will be lots of tempting snacks and treats, eat a small meal before you go. Load up on vegetables and lean protein at home, and then you can enjoy the party food in moderation without worrying about going overboard.
Stick to a Workout Schedule
Don’t let days off from work, holiday shopping, and visiting family throw you off your normal routine. Try to stick to your normal workout schedule as closely as possible. If you know you absolutely won’t be able to follow it, adjust it to something more manageable. Whatever you do, don’t let exercise completely slip by you. Set a goal to help keep you on track. Sign up for a New Year’s or Christmas race to keep yourself motivated.
There is an abundance of unhealthy treats and snacks this time of year. We know it’s not realistic to avoid them altogether. Instead of mindlessly munching on mediocre candies, think ahead about the best desserts of the season and limit yourself to those. If your mom makes an amazing pie at Thanksgiving, hold out for a slice of that. If you have a traditional Christmas cookie you can’t go without, avoid the others available and just eat your favorites. Plus, it will make the desserts you do choose to eat seem more special and delicious.
Calories from alcohol add up quickly, but we don’t always think about the calories we drink. Creamy eggnog and spiked hot chocolate taste good, but they can wreak havoc on a diet. Too much alcohol can also lower your inhibitions and make you crave junk food. Plus, it dehydrates you, leaving you feeling sluggish and sick the next day if you have too much. Drink a glass of water between every alcoholic beverage to help you stay hydrated and limit the amount of alcohol you consume. Water also helps you feel full so you’re less likely to overeat.
Eating in front of the TV leads most people to consume way more calories than they mean to. When you’re distracted by a movie or football game, you’re not necessarily thinking about that third piece of pizza. Plus, commercials for Doritos and M&Ms can make you crave chips or candy you don’t need. Turn off the television and sit down with food on a plate. Chew slowly and don’t rush through meals. You’ll probably end up eating less while enjoying your food more.
The holidays are a stressful time for a lot of people. As fun as they can be, they’re also full of family gatherings, lots of extra spending, and events every weekend. Stress can lead to weight gain, so take time to care for yourself. Get enough sleep, meditate, exercise, read a book, do some yoga. Anything that makes you feel more relaxed so you’re not turning to cookies for comfort.