IT IS NOT A GOOD TIME OF THE YEAR TO BE ON A WEIGHT-LOSS DIET. THE SEASON BRINGS AT LEAST A COUPLE OF EXTRA POUNDS ALONG WITH THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT, BUT THERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU CAN DO TO MAINTAIN YOUR WEIGHT.
• If you know you will be attending a celebration, have healthier, low calorie meals the rest of the day, and do not miss your workout for anything in the world.
• If you usually exercise 3-4 times a week, try doing it every day. If you can’t, increase your workout intensity so you burn more calories or extend your cardio routine by 10 minutes each day. Remember that the way you work out will determine how many calories you continue to burn throughout that day, so make it worth it.
• It´s ok to give in to desserts every now and then, but when you do, take something else off your plate, like the mashed potatoes or the gravy. You don’t have to try everything on the table of every dinner party you attend.
• When you host a celebration, try to use healthy ingredients whenever possible: cook with low-fat dairy products, sugar substitutes, whole wheat, etc.
• Eat something healthy before you go to a holiday dinner, that way you won’t feel hungry and overeat.
• Limit your alcohol. A cocktail can have as many calories as a meal, so if you are drinking, try to do so in moderation and consider not having dessert.
• Most people snack on something while shopping. Carry some healthy snacks in your bag when you go out to do your Christmas shopping so you can avoid eating the unhealthy snacks usually available at the mall.
• Watch your portions. Holiday food plates look like big mountains of everything; you can’t even distinguish what´s there. Portion your plate and don’t pile up food. Don’t forget to add salad or vegetables to all your meals.
• Stay away from dips, fried foods, fatty cheeses, greasy chips, sodas and doughnuts (the last two should not be only during the holidays, though!!).
Enjoy the parties, share with family and friends, but be conscious about eating and exercise. It is harder to get back into your routine once you slip big time, so please, pick your battles and fight them!
Certified Health Coach, Institute for Integrative Nutrition