Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Hello Everyone,

The holiday season traditionally is a time for fun, celebration and indulgence. Holiday parties are also notorious for spoiling weight loss regimens. The average American gains five pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

This is because you don’t want to think about fitness and diet during these festive times. You can, however, party to your heart’s content without gaining an ounce. And you don’t have to worry about eliminating or avoiding the festivities. Here are ten tips to help you stay on top through these trying times.

1. Make a plan. Sit down and look at your holiday schedule. Because it’s different from the rest of the year, you have to be flexible. Stay active. Try to keep exercise in your daily schedule. Don’t scrap your exercise plans just because you don’t have time for a full workout. Make it smaller or split it up.

2. Concentrate on weight maintenance instead of weight loss. Maintaining your weight is more realistic than trying to lose weight during these difficult times. Don’t set yourself up for failure and disappointment by setting unrealistic goals.

3. Don’t make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight by dieting. Thinking about dieting after the holidays sets the stage for food binging during these times. The reasoning behind this is since you are going to avoid certain foods completely in the future - you may as well eat as much of them as possible now. Besides, dieting by calorie restriction only works in the short term.

4. Many people make the mistake of skipping breakfast and lunch so they could pig out later in the evening. This type of strategy is what makes you put on the pounds. You end up stuffing yourself with holiday foods high in fat, sugar and starch. What you should do is the opposite. Don’t miss any meals. Eat healthy all day long and drink plenty of water. This way when you get to the party you won’t feel hungry and you will eat less rich foods.

5. Choose high protein foods at the expense of foods high in sugar. Foods high in protein keep you full longer than foods containing simple refined carbohydrates.

6. Eat plenty of high fiber foods before you hit the dessert table. Raw vegetables are rich in fiber, low in calories and will bulk you up, leaving less room for sweets which are converted directly into fat.

7. With all the food available at parties it’s easy to overeat. To avoid this fill your plate with the foods you like and eat only what’s in your plate. Chew your food slowly and thoroughly.

8. Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation. One drink contains 200-300 calories. Set a limit of no more than three drinks. Drink plenty of water instead, throughout the night.

9. Learn to say no. There is always someone pressuring you to try some of their homemade cake – even though you may not desire it. Just say no. You have to have a limit. If you use excuses like “not now, I’m just too full” people will keep trying to push their food on you. Instead, you should say things like “No thanks, I don’t eat desserts”, and don’t make any apologies.

10. Keep everything in perspective. One day of over indulgence is not going to make or break your food consumption plan. And you won’t gain weight because of it. It takes several continuous days of overeating to produce weight gain. So, if you overdo it at a holiday dinner one day, forget about it. Simply return to your normal eating habits the next day without feelings of guilt, anger or despair.

So have a great holiday time and enjoy.


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