We are only weeks away from the holiday season, beginning with Thanksgiving and ending with New Years. This can be a dangerous time for anyone trying to maintain or lose weight.
Steering clear of temptations, can prove to be a real challenge. The urge to throw caution to the wind and overindulge during the holidays is a real threat. But going overboard can lead to unwanted weight gain and major discouragement. The disappointment of gaining weight during the holidays can cause people to completely give up on their quest to get healthier.
Here are a few sobering studies to help you stay on track.
Stephan Guyenet, from Whole Health Source did a series on the neurobiology of eating. What the researchers found was that half of the annual weight gain in the U.S. occurs during the holiday period.
If that is not eye-opening enough another, study conducted at Karolinska Hospital in Sweden, found that overweight people gained between 2.75 and four pounds during the two to three weeks holiday time frame. Unfortunately, the holidays can cause people to feel like they are missing out if they don’t indulge during this season, causing them to put their guard down. Having a strategy to face the holidays is vital in order to stay on track.
10 keys to not gaining weight during the holidays
It all begins with how we approach the holidays. Are we celebrating the true meaning of the season or has the food taken precedence? The holidays are a time to spend with friends and family allowing bonds to grow stronger. Although food can play a role in creating meaningful memories, it should not take center stage.
2. Be consistent
Want to keep the weight off for years? Researchers at Brown Medical School found that people who followed a consistent diet throughout the week were one and a half times more likely to maintain their weight over the subsequent year than those who were less consistent.
How does this assist us during the holidays? By staying true to your usual eating habits for the majority of the week and maintaining your exercise routine, you can prevent completely derailing if you have a slip up.
Let’s keep in mind that Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, New Years Day are individual separate events, not one continuous holiday. Understanding that it’s not a “season” of carefree living, will assist you in being consistent. This will give you a little, I said little leeway when food temptations are coming at you from every direction.
3. Create a carb deficit account
Trying to stay below your daily carb allowance during the days leading up to a holiday can offset your one small indulgence. This only works if you know that doing so will not trigger a binge episode. Otherwise, this technique will not work. For some people one small cheat will cause them to slide down a pit of over indulgence that can last for weeks, if not months. In the same way someone who has any other form of addiction has to avoid triggers. If cheating sends you down a rabbit hole, you must steer clear away from them.
The willingness to stay connected to a group of people like Fittoservegroup, will make staying on track much easier during this time of the year where food temptations lurk everywhere. It helps to talk to someone who is on the same journey and get their support and encouragement.
5.Bring your own healthy dish
By choosing to bring a healthy dish to a holiday party it assures that you will have something you can enjoy without feeling trapped. Not to mention, that others will also appreciate your gesture. Our blog is full of healthy low carb alternatives that are easy to prepare for this very reason.
6.Eat before you attend the party
Just like going grocery shopping when you’re famished spells disaster, going to a holiday party when you’re hungry will cause you to cheat more easily. So plan a good snack or light meal to keep your appetite in check before you arrive.
7.Choose wisely once the day arrives
Go for the protein first once you step up to that buffet table. During the holidays you have lots of great tasty low carb protein options to choose from. From Grandma’s turkey, to Aunt Betty’s ham, there is no excuse to load your plate with dangerous mystery side dishes when you have great protein choices.
8.Don’t drink your carbs
One of the surest ways to slip up during the holidays is by over consuming alcohol. This not only spikes your insulin levels quickly, but will not keep you level headed, making staying on track that much more difficult. If you choose to drink choose wisely and stick to only one for the evening.
9.Fill your mouth with words not food
Focus on socializing not eating. Enjoy your time with friends and family and engage in meaningful conversations instead of grazing from platter to platter disengaged with the people at the event.
10.Be generous with your leftovers
If you’re the one hosting the party, take the celebration a step further and make sure you have plenty of disposable containers for your guests to take most of the leftovers home with them. Trust me you will be thrilled when you realize that doing so will not only keeps your fridge tidier, but your waistline will thank you. This is a sure way to avoid any wee hour fridge raids.
Here’s to making sure this year you end it on a healthy note and you do not gain any extra holiday weight. This is one gift we all don’t want!