One of the biggest results of the holiday season is weight gain! “Americans gain, on average, one to two pounds during the season”, said Caryn Alter, a registered dietitian with the Star and Barry Tobias Health Awareness Center at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold Township.
Even though that doesn’t seem like much, it adds up, especially if you don’t lose it each year.
Here are 10 tips to help you avoid that weight gain:
1. Don’t skip meals. Continue to eat sensibly for breakfast and lunch, with healthy snacks to tide to you over. If you’re going to a holiday party in the evening, eat a sensible snack before you head out to keep you satisfied enough to make good choices at the event.
2. Bring a healthy dish. Many people bring the most decadent, intriguing dish to share, but your healthy tray of fresh fruit or vegetables with hummus will round out the table with good options. And, you’ll know there will be at least one healthy choice you can make that evening.
3. Think about the drink. Remember, even if you drink your calories, they count. Be mindful of the fruity or egg-nog drinks, as they are often loaded with sugar and calories.
4. Use a smaller plate. This provides an optical illusion of sorts, making the same amount of food look much more substantial than when it is on a large dinner plate. And, you’ve only got so much room to load the plate up, which will provide a natural portion control.
5. Fill up on fiber. Eat your salad and fruit before dipping into sweet treats, carbs and empty calories. The fiber will fill you up and will also aid you in digestion.
6. Slow down. Take more time as you eat. Put down your fork and take sips of water after a few bites. It can take 20 minutes for your brain to get the message your stomach is full. Take a break before going for seconds.
7. Talk more, eat less. Work on your conversation and small talk skills instead of trying all the goodies.
8. Eat mindfully. Make conscious choices about your food intake and stop before you feel full. This can be difficult when you’re visiting and in a social setting, but it’s important to pay attention.
9. Signal the end of the meal. Think about what you typically do at home when you finish a meal. Do you brush your teeth, take your dishes to the kitchen and rinse them? Try to follow this pattern when you’re out and about, too, though you may need to adapt your routine to the setting.
10. Walk it off. Or dance, or join the gang for a night of bowling. If you do eat more or drink more calories than you’d like, work them off. Take a class at your local fitness studio or make an extra session with your personal trainer.