Tips to Curb Holiday Weight Gain

Tips to Curb Holiday Weight Gain
Photo by Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

It’s that time of the year again: holiday season. Thanksgiving is over, but Christmas and New Years are looming closer. These holidays are filled with family, food and fun. Due to the excessive availability of scrumptious treats, it is important to keep tabs on what you eat.

Follow these five tips to curb your holiday weight gain, if not eliminate it altogether.

1. Cut down alcohol - We tend to get a little crazy when drinking during the holidays, especially if we spend too much time around the in-laws. Who doesn’t love a glass (or three) of egg nog? However, the key to maintaining your weight is to limit your consumption. In the end, it’s a few sips of a drink or a few extra pounds. You choose. Wine contains anywhere from 62 to 160 calories in a 4 oz glass. In a 12 oz can of beer, there are around 140 to 200 calories. Egg nog with alcohol is nearly 400 calories. People rarely stick to just one glass, so keep these calories in mind the next time you drink alcohol.

2. Track your appetizers - Appetizers were created to curb your hunger while waiting for your main meal. With that in mind, don’t eat an appetizer as a first meal and then move on to a second. Lean toward lower calories snacks like vegetables or foods with nutritional value. Lay off the deviled eggs and creamy dips.

A study by the New England Journal of Medicine showed that those who gained the most weight during the holidays were in fact already overweight. Therefore, if you are in good shape and keep tabs on your intake already, your holiday weight gain will not be very severe.

3.  Eat mindfully - Be conscious of how you eat in addition to what you eat. Don’t just inhale your meal. Instead, take it one bite at a time and truly enjoy the food. Taste the flavor. Savor the ingredients within it. Take the time to talk to those around you, so you don’t scarf down your food.

4. Multitask while watching TV - Honestly, how many times can a person watch ‘A Christmas Story’? It’s all too simple to mindlessly munch while staring at the tube, but it’s not hard to change your ways. Instead of just looking at the television, integrate some family activity. Do some crunches with your partner during the commercials. Do the dishes with your kids. The holidays are about family, so try to act like you like them. Bond with your family and burn some calories. Now that’s multitasking!

5. Get some sleep - All the excitement (stress) of the holidays may alter your sleeping patterns. Sleep, along with diet and exercise, tie in together to regulate your weight. Get at least 6 hours of sleep each night. Do it for your health. Do it for yourself.

Happy Holidays!

Josha Krueger is a NSCA-CSCS certified personal trainer, an AFPA Sports Nutrition Consultant, and owner of Kru Strength + Fitness.

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Filed under: Exercise, Nutrition

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