Sticking to your best eating practices can be challenging around the holidays. It's hard to say no to food around festive meals, even harder to exclude yourself when everyone's joining in.
Honestly, you can't gain serious weight in one meal, no matter how hard you try. Weight is usually gained over time. That's why your habits and routines matter so much. Even if a festive meal breaks your calorie bank, your healthy habits will bring you back on track.
Let's not forget that Thanksgiving is just the beginning of a 6-week holiday season – marked by parties, special meals, high-caloric treats at every corner and more free time to enjoy all of these. People who say they gained 5-10 pounds over the holidays might be outliers, but the holiday season weight gain phenomenon is quite real.
Tips for the holiday
- Be merry: By all means, loosen up and enjoy yourself! Holidays are for appreciating good food with family and friends, and rules are meant to be broken. That being said, you don't have to eat food just because it's there. You don't have to try everything that ends up on the coffee table during the end of November through the month of December.
- Tomorrow is another day: Overindulgence happens. That absolutely doesn't mean you're on a slippery slope or that you might as well just give up. One day of gluttony can only do so much harm, guilt is futile, and you can surely get back on track.
- Watch what you drink: Alcoholic and sweet drinks pack lots of calories. Space caloric drinks (wine, cocktails, beer) with water, sparkling water, or other non-caloric non-sweet drinks. Sugary drinks should be a rare special occasion treat.
- Veggies and fruit to the rescue: Fill half your plate with veggies, these will load you with nutrients, fiber and antioxidants and help lower your calorie intake. When choosing deserts and snacks, look for delicious fruit – it's not that you should never eat cake, but your sweet tooth may be satisfied with dried or fresh fruit too.
- Celebrations aren't only about eating: Go for a walk, play a board game, volunteer together, have a tea tasting afternoon – there are many non-calorie, even calorie-burning celebration activities to try together in between the feasts.
Happy Holidays but don’t forget open enrollment ends December 15th so make sure you enroll in health insurance.
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