Steering Clear Of Holiday Weight Gain

We’re headed into the heart of the holiday season … complete with parties and big family gatherings. You’ve decided to do everything in your power not  to end the year with a larger number on your scale than you have today. Congratulations!   And remember that common sense behavior can play a big role in helping you accomplish your goal.

Here are some good suggestions to keep in mind, to keep those added holiday pounds at bay.

Stay active – get sleep. The fundamentals of good health habits are even more important this time of year, because we tend to spend more time indoors, on couches and the like. Stick with your fitness routine as much as your schedule will allow, take advantage of the many holiday activities to stay in motion, and be sure to get appropriate rest. Sleep-deprived people tend to have lower metabolism and are inclined to eat more.

Eat smart. We encounter lots of tempting foods this time of year at family gatherings, Christmas parties and the like. Be conscious about the amount of food you eat and what is actually on your plate. Make sure proteins and fibers are well represented and limit portions whenever possible. Avoid seconds. If you have an event to attend, it’s never a bad idea to have a healthy snack before you arrive, to reduce temptation to overeat.

Snack smarter. When it comes to cookies, cakes and other holiday goodies, it’s even more important to be mindful. Processed food and baked goods loaded with sugar should be consumed in moderation. Sample those cookies, but don’t overdo it. The less, the better.

Drink less (except for water). Moderation is also important with beverages. Alcohol consumption is often accompanied by increased appetites; but don’t overlook the soda and holiday punches. This is the time of year when we tend to consume more beverages that are loaded with sugar, which in turn include lots of empty calories that can lead to weight gain. On the other hand, plenty of water is good for your body and helps keep you feeling a little fuller and less motivated to eat or drink more than you should.

Weigh yourself. Finally, consider keeping a close eye on your bathroom scale. If you weigh yourself on a regular basis you’ll know right away, whether your weight is staying where you want it. Sometimes the best motivation to “behave” during the holidays, is the number you see on the scale each day.