With the holiday season being all about sweet treats, it can be hard to think about losing weight. There’s eggnog and sugar cookies at every turn. But this doesn’t mean your weight-loss journey needs to end! You can still enjoy the festivities and tame your cravings with simple habits. Check out these 11 ways you can control your weight gain during the holidays.
1. Stay Hydrated
Obviously, hydration is important any time of the year. But it can also help you stick to your weight-loss plan. When you feel hungry, try drinking some water as it helps to curb your appetite.1
2. Drink A Healthy Smoothie
If your sweet tooth is acting up, sip on a fruit smoothie. You can even add a little honey or coconut flakes to sweeten it up. This healthy treat will keep you feeling good and full until the next meal.
3. Eat Before A Party
This might seem counterproductive, but it works. Eat a fiber-rich snack before a party. This way, you won’t be starving and tempted to eat everything in sight.
4. Be Mindful About Alcohol
Cocktails might be a big part of the holidays, but they can also pack in the calories. Do yourself a favor and take it slow. Stay hydrated by drinking a glass of water in between alcoholic drinks.2 You can also replace sodas and sugary mixers with club soda and fresh fruit juice.
5. Pack A Snack
Bringing a healthy snack can control your hunger, especially when you’re on the road. You’ll be less likely to grab junk food or sweet treats. Travel-friendly ideas can include granola bars, bananas, and apples.
6. Have Breakfast
This simple habit will prevent overeating later in the day. If you don’t eat breakfast, that period of fasting can actually boost your body’s insulin response, leading to weight gain.3 With breakfast, you’ll also have enough energy to handle the holiday fun.
7. Indulge In Moderation
Treat yourself to a small portion of dessert when the craving hits. But don’t kick yourself over it! Eating a treat with guilt can actually lead to more weight gain than having it in celebration.4 Instead, feed the initial craving and leave it at that.
8. Don’t Stop Exercising
The thought of working out during the holidays might sound crazy, but it’s doable. Look for ways to exercise in your home with little to no equipment. Even a short yoga routine can contribute in keeping you active and healthy.
9. Get Enough Sleep
Like exercising, getting enough rest during the holiday season is also important. Otherwise, you’ll feel stressed and agitated. This can make you ditch your weight-loss plan and reach for fatty, sugary foods.5
10. Make Healthy Swaps
Being creative with food replacements is great for losing weight. For example, swap chips for crunchy cucumbers. Mix herbs and plain Greek yogurt for a healthy party dip. If you’re making a holiday latte or hot chocolate, use soy milk and skip the whipped cream.
11. Stop When You’re Full
It’s easy to keep eating when you’re socializing. So instead, listen to your body and stop when you feel full. Save the food for later and sip on water or tea.
Keeping your weight-loss plan during the holidays takes extra effort. But it will definitely be worth it! Be patient with yourself and set realistic goals. But more importantly, enjoy the holidays as well.
|↑1||Greiner, Lori A. “Clinical trial confirms effectiveness of simple appetite control method.” (2010).|
|↑2||Hangover Prevention, mayoclinic.org|
|↑3||Weight Loss, mayoclinic.org|
|↑4||Kuijer, Roeline G., and Jessica A. Boyce. “Chocolate cake. Guilt or celebration? Associations with healthy eating attitudes, perceived behavioural control, intentions and weight-loss.” Appetite 74.1 (2014): 48-54.|
|↑5||Why stress causes people to overeat, health.harvard.edu|