From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, food abounds–delightful treats, tempting sweets, beautifully arranged food baskets, and the always-welcomed gourmet chocolates that are to die for. It’s enough to send even the most controlled eater into an eating frenzy!
But of course this sumptuous time of year comes with a price—those extra pounds that we all dread and fear. The big question is, “Can I get through the holiday eating season without putting on the 5-10 pounds everyone talks about?” Forget the dream of a white Christmas, I’m hoping for a light Christmas!
Good news (beside the birth of Christ)! Most people don’t gain all that extra weight. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health conducted a study that found most people tend to gain about 1.05 pounds during the holiday eating season. Now don’t start diving into the fruitcake just yet because there is more to this wonderful story.
Even though the gain is less than imagined, the weight is harder to lose. In part this is because we are less active during this time of year. Over time, that extra pound here and there contributes to a steady weight gain. And, if you are someone who is overweight (half of Americans), the weight gain is usually worse than the predicted pound.
So what does all this suggest? Pace yourself! You simply can’t give in to all the goodies that pass your office desk. Take a piece of the delicious stuff and move on. Stay active with exercise during this time and try these pound saving tips!
Don’t go hungry to party events. Drink a glass of water or eat a small piece of fruit before you go. A ravenous appetite makes it hard to resist the seductive presentation of holiday foods.
Find the vegetable tray and stay close to it. If you feel the urge to nibble, hang out next to the low cal options and nibble away!
Bring a low cal food item to an event. If you bring something you like that is low cal, you know there will be something healthy to choose from among all the items.
Focus on the people at the event and not the food. Try to mingle and involve yourself in conversation versus isolating yourself at the food tables.
Try not to eat because you feel uncomfortable or anxious. Food events are social events and people eat to decrease anxiety. Prepare a strategy ahead of time, “If I begin to feel anxious or uncomfortable, I will…”
If you overdo it, don’t get crazy. Just regroup after the event and cut back at the next few meals. Too many people say, “Oh I really blew it so I might as well continue to eat.” That’s the wrong approach. Instead say, “OK I blew it but I can get back in control and cut back on the next few meals.”