Chances are you read that title and chuckled. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “That’s as doable as Santa going down millions of chimneys on Christmas Eve.”
But what if we told you it can be done? What if you had some science-backed techniques to help you? Then, would you believe us?
What have you got to lose? Read the 10 top ways to avoid gaining weight during the holidays.
Let’s get started!
1 – Be Realistic
You know that the holidays are all about great parties and delicious food. So, pretending that you’re going to eat only one Christmas cookie is the exact opposite of realistic.
Instead of going extreme, try to be honest with yourself. Acknowledge that you’re going to eat more than you normally do and that you need to set some boundaries.
Impartial goals are hard, if not impossible, to accomplish. The best gift you can give yourself is improving your relationship with food.
Write down attainable goals and post them on your dresser or fridge. Seeing them each day will give you the power and confidence you need to apply your goals.
2 – Make Smart Choices
An hour before heading out to a party or event, snack on some high-fiber foods, veggies, and proteins. All these will keep you feeling full for longer.
Then, once you’re at the event, use smaller plates. You’ll be forced to eat smaller portions.
Another smart choice is to chew slowly. We know that parties aren’t the best place to savor each bite. Yet, if you give it a try, you’ll notice how delicious everything is and you’ll feel full quicker.
3 – Give Out Parting Gifts
Did you throw a party and now you’ve got piles of leftovers in the kitchen? Instead of getting stuck with the leftovers, why not pass them out as parting gifts?
You can invest in some disposable food containers, fill them up, and hand them out as your guests are leaving. Even better, pick containers with a holiday theme to earn extra hostess points.
4 – Go Easy On the Alcohol
When you consume alcoholic beverages, you’re loading up on extra calories without even realizing it. For example, a regular beer has about 153 calories, while a glass of wine has about 133 calories.
Not only that, but excessive drinking makes you act irresponsibly, especially around food. So, let’s say you’d normally eat just a couple of snacks here and there.
When you’re inebriated, however, you’re more likely to throw caution to the wind. You may very well end up gobbling a plate full of cookies, rather than just a couple as you normally would.
5 – Freeze Leftovers
If you don’t feel right about giving your guests leftovers, you can keep the extras. But don’t keep them in the fridge. Freeze them instead.
You’ll be less likely to reach for second helpings. Plus, you’ll have a ready-to-serve dinner all set for a later date.
6 – Drink Water
Water is a bit under-appreciated, don’t you think? Sure, it’s colorless and odorless. But it provides us with so many health benefits, it’s hard to know where to start.
Since we’re focusing on avoiding weight gain today, let’s start with that. Drinking water regularly throughout the day will help you lose weight. It makes you feel satisfied, so you don’t eat as much.
More importantly, it’s not filled with artificial sugars that increase your caloric intake. Limit yourself to one glass of soda, juice, or wine each day.
Then, for the rest of the day, stick to water. You’ll start to feel less on edge and worn out because water washed out toxins from your body.
7 – Chew Gum
Can chewing gum actually curb your appetite? The jury’s still out on that one.
But it’s a good way to distract yourself. Your mouth is already busy chewing one thing, so you’ll be less likely to help yourself to seconds.
If you prefer hard candy to chewing gum, that’s okay too. Just remember to get the sugar-free kind so you’re not harming your teeth.
8 – Turn Off the TV
Eating while you’re watching TV has been linked to overeating and making poor food choices. You get sucked into whatever you’re watching. Then, before you know it, that newly opened bag of chips is now a loose pile of crumbs.
It’s not only mindless watching that gets you. It’s also all those commercials for processed snacks and sugary drinks that increase our cravings for low-nutrient junk foods.
9 – Get Your Steps In
Not all of us can go to the gym three days a week during the holidays. There’s too much on our plates as it is!
So, to make up for it, you have to make a conscious decision to stay active. Why not use the stairs instead of the elevator? How about parking far from the mall entrance so you have to walk a few more steps than normal?
It’ll help burn off those extra calories. Plus, any type of physical exercise reduces stress and pent-up tension you may be feeling due to all the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
10 – De-Stress
The holiday season is merry and bright. It’s also full of stress and anxiety.
The problem is that too much stress usually triggers cravings and overeating. And what’s the first thing you’re going to reach for when you’re anxious and tense? Sugary snacks packed with carbs, of course.
Studies show that there’s a direct link between stress-related eating and obesity. So, instead of letting the holiday strain get to you, try some de-stressors. This can be as simple as five minutes of doing mindful meditation or reading your favorite book.
If you prefer something more hands-on, why not treat yourself to a facial. You can even get a mani-pedi while you’re at it. After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. You deserve it!