Holidays are a time for celebration and tradition, but all too often, those turn into excuses for some seasonal overindulgence. We put together just a few tips to help keep you from gaining weight over the holidays, without feeling like you missed out.
With Thanksgiving kicking off a season of family get-togethers, office parties, and holiday treats, it can be tough to make it through to the New Year without packing on a few pounds. In face, most Americans do gain a pound or two between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's easy to see why; who doesn't want a second (or third!) piece of your mother's famous pumpkin pie, or another helping of stuffing and mashed potatoes? The key is to adopt a strategy and be smart about your favorite dishes.
1. Don't ever go in hungry. Some folks skip meals before a holiday gathering , assuming that by cutting out a few hundred calories, a bit of overindulgence will balance out. That's risky. More often than not, heading to a big dinner hungry means you'll end up eating more than usual, making it harder to control how many calories you take in. Eat your normal meals and focus on controlling the amount you eat at the get-together instead.
2. Small plates help. Seriously. Whenever possible, opt for the smallest plate on offer, and try to fill it with veggies, salad, or fruit first, before you make it to the turkey, ham, or desserts. After your first plate, wait at least ten minutes before you make another run. This allows your body some time to digest and realize it's been nourished; you may not even be hungry for more after letting your food settle.
3. Make a plan. Decide how much you'll eat before you go, and stick to it. Your strategy may be to stick to one plate and one dessert, or to eat as much salad as you want, but only one trip that includes the heavier foods like mashed potatoes or dinner rolls.
4. Drink water. Have a big glass of water before you sit down to eat. This will help you feel full sooner, as well as digest your meal more efficiently.
5. Move! Start the tradition of a post-meal walk. It's a nice way to chat with friends and family, and it'll help get your body's digestions underway, while burning off some calories, too.
6. Don't deprive yourself. If you have a family favorite dish, enjoy it. It's important to enjoy food, too. Appreciate the simple pleasure that comes with having a slice of apple pie made by someone you love and savor every bite. This is the season to be thankful, after all, and these traditional dishes are a part of the feeling of togetherness that makes the holidays so special.
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