Every year we vow that this holiday season will be different. We will finish our shopping early, we’ll let go of the need to have a perfectly decorated home, and we will NOT gain weight. All are easier said than done, especially the promise to control your cravings when faced with party appetizers and cocktails, holiday cookies (it’s the only time of year I eat them!), and traditional holiday meals.
This holiday season can be different. Tried-and-true tips for fighting holiday food temptations can help you control your cravings and avoid the typical holiday weight gain, which studies have estimated to be between five to eight pounds for most Americans.
Here are 5 of the top tips for successfully avoiding holiday weight gain.
- Don’t start on a new diet. Unless your weight loss program is well underway, the holiday season is not the time to start a restrictive regimen. The reason: most healthy weight-loss plans assume that you will stick to certain eating guidelines. With parties and holiday treats around, it’s better to try to make healthy choices when you can, and allow yourself to indulge temptation – a little. In other words, try not to add any extra pounds.
- Up your activity level. Participating in aerobic activities helps you burn calories, even when you’re not exercising. And you’ll feel so good about working out, you won’t want to undo the benefits by giving in to food temptations. Exercise has also been shown to reduce stress, which can cause your body to release cortisol – a hormone believed to play a direct role in weight gain.
- Make a plan. Schedules and mealtimes tend to go out the window this time of year, with school plays and parties to attend, shopping, and traveling. Stay organized by shopping and preparing healthy meals in advance. This will help you control your cravings and prevent those moments when you’re tempted to say, “I might as well eat a couple more bacon and cheese appetizers, since I don’t have anything at home for dinner.”
- Take healthy snacks with you. If you get hungry while shopping or in between airline flights, it’s tough to control your cravings for fast food, chips or candy – especially when those are the only choices. A bag of nuts, a piece of fruit, crackers and peanut butter (you can make your own low-fat, low-sodium version) – are smart options for curbing your hunger without packing on the pounds.
- Party like a pro. How do politicians and celebrities on the social circuit attend parties every week and manage to stay in shape? Here are a few of their secrets:
- Restrict your alcohol intake. Stay away from high-calorie beverages, and remember to drink water. A light beer or a glass of wine is a better choice than high-fat eggnog with rum, for example. Also, alcohol can increase your appetite and lower your resistance to temptation, so practice moderation.
- Use the small-plate strategy. You simply can’t put as much on a small plate, which may be enough to help you eat less. Whenever possible, control your cravings for fried foods, creamy sauces and rich desserts. Try not to go back for seconds, unless you stick to the raw veggies (skip the dip unless it’s low fat).
- Have fun and eat something healthy later. Focus on your friends and family instead of the food. It’s a good idea to have something to eat before you go to a party, too.
While the holidays may not be the ideal time to embark on a new diet, you can take charge of your weight gain problems anytime. By giving your body the nutrients it needs to cope with the season’s stressors, Corti-Thin by Healthy Choice Naturals helps you control your cravings, burn fat and gain more energy – and who wouldn’t like to start the New Year feeling good about losing weight? Make the season bright with the promise of a healthy year ahead, and enjoy the holidays!