The holidays are here! You’ve tracked your food and exercise regularly for weeks or even months, and live a healthy lifestyle that you’re ready to stick to for the long haul. But for many, once Thanksgiving rolls around, all these habits tend to fly out the window! Sure, there’s the food (the average American Thanksgiving dinner packs a whopping 3,000 calories!), but the winter holiday season lasts for weeks and there are more parties, more gifts of food, more cookies, and more opportunities to grab a treat here and there than any other time of the year. And these temptations won’t be going away any time soon. Add all of these calories to the holiday stress of gift shopping, party planning and hopping, decorating, and cooking, and you have a recipe for weight gain.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can stick with your plan over the holidays and keep losing weight. After all, every day presents temptations, so why should the holidays be any different?
To provide you with the support you need, here are five ways to stay on track, so you can lose weight during the holidays.
1. Don’t arrive to dinners or parties hungry
One of the best ways to keep from eating too much at a dinner or party is to ensure you don’t arrive hungry. Keep a healthy snack on you and eat it before you arrive. Drink a glass of water to avoid filling up your plate, and have some raw vegetables, should they be available, before going in for the main course.
2. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol should be avoided primarily because it’s a source of empty calories that add no nutritional value and could actually impede weight loss. However, if that’s not enough to keep you off the sauce, alcohol also lowers inhibitions, making you less in control of what you eat. Avoid getting the munchies by avoiding alcohol. Try sipping on club soda so you’ll have something in your hand in place of that alcoholic drink.
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3. Buddy up
Being the only person who is trying to avoid waist-expanding calories at a dinner or party is tough – and the temptation to give in to peer pressure is very real. One trick to avoid this is to find a weight loss buddy. With someone there to provide you with support, avoiding all of those fattening holiday treats won’t be nearly as hard, and they’ll be able to take some of the scrutiny off of your choice of foods and drinks.
4. Volunteer to host the party yourself!
What better way to avoid overeating or eating fattening foods than to host the party yourself! You can ensure there are plenty of diet-friendly food items to go along with the traditional treats. Also, being a good host usually means more time spent ensuring everyone else has enough to eat than actual eating on your part, making it the perfect role that is both sociable and diet friendly!
Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to ensure your guests take home any leftovers. Portion all your leftovers in small amounts to ensure that everyone can share them. This will help you avoid the temptation of finishing them off yourself.