The dreaded holiday weight gain.
Studies show that people gain on average 7-10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is completely understandable. We eat gigantic portions of fattening, calorie-laden comfort foods. Why has it become a tradition to stuff ourselves until we have to unbutton our pants? As a society, we have adopted many unhealthy habits, especially when it comes to the holidays.
Here are some of my personal tips to help you avoid the infamous holiday weight gain:
1. Find healthy alternatives to your favorite comfort foods
When you’re eating healthier food – you don’t have a reason to restrict yourself as much. Potatoes by themselves are perfectly healthy for you filled with vitamins, minerals, and healthy carbohydrates. However, when you load them up with butter and heavy cream, this will contribute to weight gain. Instead of using heavy cream in your mashed potatoes, try using unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened cashew milk, then add garlic powder, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper (chives optional). They are just as delicious and guilt free!
2. Do some research
When trying to find healthy alternatives for your holiday favorites, Google will be your BEST friend. Let’s say you’re trying to find a healthful apple pie – simply search “healthy apple pie”. Search for plant-based recipes of your favorites and I promise there is a healthier alternative. The internet is such a great resource where you can find thousands of free recipes. Come up with a menu for your holiday meals based on your healthy holiday recipe finds. Again, when you are cooking and eating healthy food that actually nourishes your body, you don’t have to feel the need to deprive yourself. A calorie does not equal a calorie. For example, 200 calories of whole roasted sweet potatoes will not respond the same way in your body that marshmallow covered and sugar-filled sweet potatoes would.
3. Bring a Dish to Share
In the case where you are not the host: offer to bring some dishes to the house you’re invited to. I know for me, when I started a healthier lifestyle, I had to become my own advocate, and this sometimes meant bringing a dish to wherever I would be eating. This way it is a win-win! It is not only a nice gesture but it assures that you will have some healthy options at your holiday get-together.
4. Listen to Your Body
Listen to your body! Put your fork down in between bites. Wait at least 10 minutes before taking seconds. Do not just keep eating if you are full. You know you will end up not feeling well after so take it slow, and do not overstuff yourself! Don’t let yourself get to the point where you have to unbutton your pants. Eat until you’re satisfied and content. When you’re done with your meal, chew a piece of gum or have coffee/tea. This way you can still be social with everyone without taking more servings. Practicing mindful eating year round will come in extra handy for the holidays.
5. Restaurant Style
Serve Meals Restaurant Style – leave food on the kitchen counter instead of on the table. This way you aren’t just absent-mindedly serving yourself more helpings. Personally, if serving bowls are on the table, I automatically want to keep taking more food. If the food is out of sight, out of mind, you will be less likely to overeat. Fill your plate once and then enjoy your company. Don’t let the whole focus of the night be on food. The holidays are about family and spending time with loved ones so let that be the center of your attention.
✖️Are you sick of dieting and failing?
✖️Do you want to lose weight and keep it off for good?
✖️Do you want to still eat delicious food while losing weight?
✖️Do you want to get healthy but need guidance and support?
✖️Do you want to lose weight without counting calories and measuring your food?
If you said “yes” to any of these, I am here to help! I am a holistic health coach and I am offering FREE health consultations. Email me at CodeGreenWellness@gmail.com! Don’t hesitate to reach out.