Holidays, gorging, & filling up your plate

the pig outYep…it’s that time again. Picture yourself bellied up to the table, loading your plate up, indulging in your favorite desserts, and maybe even putting down a few cocktails and drinks you wouldn’t normally partake of. Lets bring in the holidays, right? How much weight gain really takes place over the holidays? Well…according to most experts 1 pound is gained by the bulk of the population over the holiday season. No big deal right? Unfortunately the 1 pound is compounded annually because the majority of the population never loses it.  Imagine that! Lets stack it on year after year.

No one and I mean no one has to gain weight over the holidays…it’s a choice just like putting on your clothes every day. I think most people would be happy to “maintain their weight” over the holidays though and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. Can you lose weight over the holidays though? You bet…but it’s not easy and you have to be consistent…duh! Here are some action steps you can take to “Survive the Holiday Weight Gain.” It’s as easy as pie! Oops!

  1. Move your tail-exercise is a great way to counteract those extra calories you take in over the holidays.  In other words… work harder and work longer. By the way if you don’t like to exercise no worries…just go out and have fun for a longer period of time doing what you enjoy.  Both of these action steps work…plain and simple.
  2. Make a point of increasing your vegetable intake…I dare you! I don’t know of anyone who overeats vegetables…it just doesn’t happen, right? If you eat a plateful of raw vegetables you will not be overeating. If you eat a plateful of turkey, stuffing, mash potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy, rolls and butter you will be stuffed, uncomfortable, and over fed.
  3. Don’t put the cookie under your nose! Of course if it’s in your reach your going to munch on those sweets or your favorite “bad” food. Keep it out of your sight if you know yourself well enough and control the risk for temptation. No, your not going to be able to control every situation, but focus on the ones you can…there are lots of them. Apply this step and save yourself thousands of calories over the holidays and a lot of unwanted weight gain.
  4. How about a limit to your indulgence? A limit to one-a-day is simple and it works. You can control how much food goes into your mouth. Don’t be a party drag…allow yourself one small serving of a treat or special dessert. You might have to reduce your total caloric intake but since when is the holidays about deprivation? Enjoy yourself and indulge a bit…but keep it in check and be realistic.
  5. Definitely plan ahead-don’t go to a party starving! The same principle applies going to the supermarket famished. You buy all kinds of crap…and at parties…you eat all kinds of crap. Head to the party planning on snacking and tasting a few foods that perk your interest. Don’t sabotage your great choice prior to the party by pigging out unnecessarily. Eat a healthy food or snack ahead of time will satisfy your hunger.
  6. You control your party choices…go for the smallest plate…it still looks like a lot when the plate is full, right? Don’t go for the heavy sauces either…they are always loaded with fat and calories. Broth-based or vegetable sauces will serve you well. You don’t have to sacrifice taste…there is a ton of healthy and tasty foods and snacks out there.  Find them.
  7. Desserts are plentiful this time of year…if you’re easily drawn to sugar and carbohydrates…don’t open the flood gates! Dark chocolate with a high level of cacao and low level of sugar will satisfy you. Fresh fruit, angel food cake, ginger snaps, and pudding are lower calorie choices as well. Limit yourself to a small portion of this or that…remember that small plate?
  8. Keep an eye on your alcoholic beverages…2 drinks is plenty. Light beer and wine goes along way compared to high-fat eggnog. Sparkling water and unsweetened ice tea are pretty much calorie free drinks…knock yourself out.
  9. There is absolutely nothing wrong with politely saying “no.” Don’t overeat just because everyone else is overeating. A lot of times you might feel forced to eat foods because friends and family keep sticking them in front of your face. No problem. Just say, “everything was delicious, I’ve had enough.” Or “everything tasted great…I couldn’t eat another bite.” You planned ahead right? Your not starving…you set yourself up for success.

It’s really about the socializing anyway. Have some great conversations with family, friends, and newbies you find interesting. Standing around the food table will probably just over tempt you, right? Keep working the room and catch up with all the new faces. There is no question that conversation is calorie free.

Hey…the holidays are truly a great time of year. This is your opportunity to give thanks, celebrate good times, catch up with family and friends, and enjoy some fantastic food! Don’t miss out, but don’t find yourself making the same weight gains year after year. It’s not that difficult to practice a few strategies that will empower you to achieve your weight loss goals any time of year…but keep it real over the holidays. What is your actual goal? Write it down and make it known to family and friends what you’re trying to achieve in regards to your health and nutrition…a little support goes a long way. If you’re looking to get a head start for 2012…come see me…your best is just a few steps away.  Happy Holidays!

If you’re food is holding you back from getting the results you desire…you have to seriously address your nutrition…learn more here: Why Nutrition is Almost Always the Answer in Marin



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