As I was exercising today, I began thinking about an issue that plagues most Americans during this time of year. Can you guess what it is? That's right, weight gain during the holidays. I'm sure we all know someone who's New Year's Resolution is to lose weight, but let me offer you another idea. Why wait until the New Year to lose weight? Why not maintain your weight during the holidays so that you don't have to lose it later? In my opinion, it's easier to maintain weight than to lose weight.
There's no doubt that you will have to have an immense amount of will power to avoid bad foods during the holidays, but you don't have to say "No" to all foods. Want to know the secret? Portion control! That's right, you could have your cake and eat too! When you attend holiday parties just be cognizant of the portions you're eating. Don't over-flow your plate with food, but rather grab a little bit of everything. Make it a point to "cheat" only when you attend a party and not everyday.
Here are some other tips to use to avoid weight gain during the holidays:
1. Avoid foods that increase your appetite. Starchy foods like white rice, breads and sweets, actually make you hungrier. Foods like brown rice and sweet potatoes make you feel fuller longer.
2. Don't drink your calories. Liquid calories, such as sodas, alcoholic beverages, fruit juices and mixers tend to be very fattening. Make sure to limit the amount of alcoholic beverages you have at parties.
3. Eat protein at every meal. Protein makes you feel fuller longer and it regulates your insulin levels, which avoids a spike in your blood glucose levels.
4. Eat fruits and veggies first. These types of foods make you feel full and will suppress your appetite.
5. Don't let yourself get hungry. When our bodies go into starvation mode, we tend to binge eat in order to feel satiated. The rule of thumb is to eat a little something before going to a party. This way, you won't binge eat on all the bad foods they are offering.
6. Exercise. I know it's the holidays, but always make room for a little exercise. This will maintain your weight and it will alleviate your holiday anxieties.
7. Don't deny your sweet tooth. If you feel like eating something sweet, eat it! But make sure you pick something healthy, such as fresh fruits or a piece of dark chocolate.
8. Don't engage in mindless eating. I like to call this "Anxiety Eating." This is when you eat because you're either stressed out or simply because you're bored. Be cognizant of when you're doing this. You could avoid a lot of calories by avoiding this phenomenon.
9. Sleep. Make sure to get your beauty sleep. Sleep deprivation has been linked to higher cortisol levels, which makes you hungry and it makes you crave naughty foods like sweets, starches and fats.
10. Don't be so strict. Allow yourself to indulge every now and then, but don't be so lenient where you'll end up sabotaging your weight.
What are your Thanksgiving plans?
I am grateful for all the
comforts I have.