The excitement of the holiday season is around the corner. But with the sparkle and cheer comes the temptation for over-indulging on all those holiday treats.
In fact, studies show people gain about a pound throughout the holiday season. While that doesn’t sound like much, it’s weight that doesn’t come off easily for everyone.
And for those of us looking for weight loss in Carrollton, gaining a pound is a move in the wrong direction.
To keep your plan in check, let’s look at several ways you can get through this holiday season without derailing your weight loss goals.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water can be your best friend throughout the holiday season in Carrollton. Not only does it help you feel full quicker, it can save you from all those empty liquid calories.
Drinking a 16 oz glass of water about 30 minutes before a meal will help your stomach stretch. And when your stomach stretches, you begin to feel full. Meaning you’ll eat less food during your meal.
Plus, the holidays are famous for all those sugary drinks. Cocktails, eggnog, soda, and hot cocoa can add a huge number of calories to your diet, which contributes to holiday weight gain. By replacing those drinks with water, or balancing between the two, you can save yourself a lot of empty calories.
The holidays are not a free pass to stop exercising. In fact, sedentary activities, such as watching sports and sitting around visiting with family, should give you more reasons to keep workouts in your holiday routine.
But schedules can get crazy. If you find you’re not able to workout, get creative with it.
Ask your family to go on a walk with you after dinner. Park further away from the store when you have to go shopping. Or organize a family game of tag football.
Anything you can do to stay active will help keep those holiday pounds off. The family bonding is an added bonus.
Reduce Calories in Your Holiday Recipes
When you must have some treats this holiday, why not make them diet friendly? Baking with ingredients that reduce calories can let you have your cake and eat it too.
You can do this by switching out butter with applesauce or pumpkin puree. Use a low-calorie sugar substitute instead of the real thing. Or add dried fruit pieces in place of chocolate chips or candy.
You don’t have to leave the main dishes out of this either. You can use low-fat milk instead of heavy cream or use spices and herbs instead of butter. And try grilling, baking, or steaming instead of frying.
There are lots of things you can do to keep the flavor of the holidays in and the added calories out.
Use a Smaller Plate
Portion sizes during the holidays is certainly a huge derailer of weight loss programs.
Holiday dinners with family can feel like a free-for-all. Plus, potlucks or dinner parties can make it difficult to measure out correct portions. That’s why using a smaller plate will help.
When we’re preparing our plates, people tend to fill it up without realizing it. Because a full plate is a visual indicator of a full meal.
So when you use a smaller plate, even if you fill it up, your portions will be smaller as a result. It helps curb over-eating and save you from unnecessary holiday calories.
Control Holiday Stress
Let’s face it, the holidays can be stressful. Fighting the holiday shopping crowds, dealing with holiday travel, or simply dealing with family can make your stress levels go through the roof.
Stress causes your body to produce more cortisol. This is a hormone that, when levels are too high, can increase your craving for carbohydrates, cause problems with digestion, and increase weight gain.
To keep your levels of cortisol low, learn how to cut down on stress. Exercise is a great stress reliever and also helps control weight gain. Mediating or deep breathing are great ways to keep yourself calm and cortisol levels under control.
Regularly Weigh Yourself
One of the best ways to know if you’re staying on track with your weight loss plan is to regularly weigh yourself.
This keeps you more aware of your lifestyle and how your daily holiday choices are affecting your weight. And if you find the scale is tipping upwards, you can make tweaks to your diet before things get out of control.
Weighing yourself first thing in the morning usually gives a more accurate reading. This is before any water weight and food throughout the day can mess with results.
Some say to weigh once a week. Though a recent study has shown there are benefits to weighing yourself daily. But do what works best for you.
Bring a Healthy Dish to Holiday Dinners and Parties
Holiday dinners usually have more than visions of sugar plums dancing in your head. Desserts and starchy dishes can seriously set back your weight loss plan. Especially when it’s a workplace dinner or family party you have no control over.
Take a bit of the control back by bringing your own healthy dish to the party. That way you’ll know there’s at least one healthy option for you to have. Plus, it may help others who are also watching their weight.
Balance Meals with Protein
Most holiday dishes are rich in carbohydrates but lack needed protein. Yet protein is a great resource to help you feel full.
In fact, you can help yourself feel full quicker and eat less by adding protein to every meal. Plus, it increases your metabolism and decreases your appetite.
So instead of filling up on the mashed potatoes and stuffing, add a serving of meat, fish, or plant-based food rich in protein to each meal. It will decrease the likelihood of over-eating which results in gaining weight.
Holiday Weight Loss in Carrollton is Possible
Don’t let the holidays lose their magic because of your diet. With mindful eating and a few tricks up your sleeve, it is possible to enjoy this holiday season and still have weight loss in Carrollton.
Need help on your weight loss journey? We’d be happy to help! Contact us today to schedule an appointment.