It seems everywhere you turn this time of year something delicious is staring in your face. Maintaining your weight over the holidays is hard enough, let alone trying to get the fat to melt off. Holiday parties and family meals may be a true test of willpower, but with these tips, you can avoid ending the year with a Santa belly!
- It’s Just a Wrapper: Avoid anything wrapped in or colored red and green. Hershey Kisses, M&Ms, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are something you can get any time of the year. But because they’re gussied up in red and green, you think of them as a holiday treat. Instead of feasting on candies you can get all year long, save the calories for special treats like your grandma’s famous gingerbread cookies or your Uncle Joe’s sweet potato pie.
- Share the Gift of Good Eating: Make a healthy dish (or dishes) to pass. If the house you’ll be feasting at thinks the basis of a salad is mayo instead of lettuce, having a dish at the table that you know is good for you can be more comforting than any food can make you feel.
- Game Time: Treat a holiday party as a silent competition. While everyone else is overindulging in drinks, appetizers, and desserts, try to win the prize for under-indulging. You’ll feel better at the end of the night and most likely will not have an alcohol or food hangover the next morning. That alone will make you feel like a winner.
- Be Sweet: Keep hard candy or gum on hand. When cravings for extravagant treats kick in, a mini sweet treat can take your mind off of pigging out. While sugar-free would be best, any kind of hard candy or gum could help keep your caloric intake way down…and your breath sweet and fresh.
- Choose Wisely. While the point of watching what you eat is not to overindulge, that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge a little. Pick one or two items that would truly be treats for you. Then watch the portion size. If it’s a piece of cake, maybe try a half a slice.
- Wear Something Snug. This doesn’t mean too small or too tight—you want to look nice after all. But pick something that keeps your body shape on the brain and won’t hide an overstuffed gut or a bloated belly. Another trick is to tie a ribbon around your waist (under your clothing) so that if you start to eat too much, you’ll know because the ribbon will feel like it’s shrinking.
- Be an Inspiration. If a friend or family member sees you making changes to live a healthier life, you just might be helping him or her to do the same. So instead of making the calorie counting about you, remember that this is the season to give to others. What better gift can you give than that of health? And it’s free!
December is a tough month to watch your weight, so just try to go with your gut, brain, or heart—whichever sends the best and loudest message. Most people know when they’re making a decision to eat more than they need. It kind of feels like a mental wrestling match. When the fight starts, simply put the food down and walk away.
How do you keep holiday eating in check? Tell us in the comments!