Holidays are joyous occasions for celebrating with family, friends and food! Unfortunately, the temptation of high calorie, delicious treats can sabotage our attempt of maintaining a healthy weight. The National Institutes of Health have found that holiday eating leads many Americans to put on an average of a pound or two per year. Over the course of a few years that can really add up! As the holiday season approaches, keep in mind some healthy habits to stay on track and avoid putting on extra weight.
1. Be Realistic
The holidays are not the best time to focus on weight loss. Instead, make weight maintenance your priority. Gaining extra pounds during the season will make any weight loss efforts more challenging once the celebrations commence. If you overeat at one meal, then go light on the next. It takes 500 calories per day, above your body’s normal needs for maintenance, to gain one pound in a week (3500 calories total). Eating one slice of pie will not cause you to gain weight!
2. Stay Active
Make physical activity a priority during the holiday season. It helps relieve stress and maintain your weight. If you already exercise regularly, don’t slack on your routine. If you do not regularly exercise now is a great time to start! Begin with adding 10 to 15 minutes of light physical activity 3 to 4 times per week. This is also a great way to spend time with family and friends. For example, you could take a brisk family walk through the neighborhood after breakfast or throw a ball in the yard with the kids.
3. Eat in Moderation
Don’t skip meals in anticipation of a holiday gathering, but rather focus on moderation. Make sure to eat a healthy snack such as a piece of fruit before leaving for the party. This will curb your appetite and keep you from over-indulging at the event. Survey the buffet table before filling up your plate. Choose a small portion of your favorite foods and skip your least favorite. Fill the rest of your plate with fruits and veggies.