Tricks to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
The Holidays are filled with food traps that can easily derail your diet. But we have easy tips and tricks that you can arm yourself to avoid the dreaded holiday bulge!
Tip 1: Get moving and keep moving
It doesn’t matter if you have an hour or just 30 minutes a day in your busy holiday schedule. Just move. You can spend it by hitting the gym or working out from home. The trick is to avoid hitting the couch during the holidays. Just be active. So dust off that stationary bike and park it right in front of your TV and start slowly. Start out doing 30 minutes then 45 minutes and then more. You can also opt to walk more or bike around when you go out on errands - that is, if it’s not too cold outside.
- Here are other activities you can do at home and how much calories you can burn off:
- Running after or playing with your kids for a minimum of 20 minutes – 78 calories
- Playing outdoor games with your kids for 30 minutes – 104 calories
- Dance party to The Wiggles in the living room for 30 minutes – 176 calories
- Shoveling snow from your driveway for 15 minutes – 76 calories
- Building a snowman for an hour – 285 calories
- Making snow angels for 30 minutes – 107 calories
- Snowball fight for an hour – 319 calories
All of these are better than doing nothing at all; so always find a way to keep active during the holidays in order to fend off the holiday weight.
Tip 2: Never go to a party hungry
A lot of people think it’s better to wait until they get to the party to start eating. The problem with that is we tend to pile up on food when we’re ravenous. Before going out, have a small meal like a cup of grapes (62 calories), a cup of blueberries (85 calories), 4 tablespoons zero-fat hummus and 1 cup raw carrots (100 calories), or a 100-calorie snack pack. Pick a pre-party meal with lots of fiber to keep you full.
If you’re bringing food at a holiday potluck, prepare a healthy and delicious dish and bring it to the potluck. That way you have at least one healthy dish there that you can have without the guilt.
Tip 3: Follow the once-a-day rule
The last thing we’d want you to be is be miserable during the holidays. So, the best compromise is to follow the once-a-day or one-a-day rule. The rule is to choose one indulgence per day. Allow yourself to have a treat once-a-day like a cookie or a small serving of pie. Just don’t overdo it and don’t double-up when you skip days. Even then the once-a-day rule isn’t a pass to completely go off the rails on your diet. You might think that one cup of Eggnog fits in the one-a-day rule but a cup of Eggnog is also 223 calories. Try sticking to a 6oz cup of Spiced Apple Cider. It’s better-tasting, better for the cold and has 93 to 133 calories LESS than a cup of Eggnog. Plus, according to research, eating apples or drinking real apple juice/cider helps “slow down the oxidation process in the buildup of plaque” in heart disease.
So follow the one-a-day rule and make healthier substitutions when needed.
Tip 4: Do a palate cleanse
This handy trick from NBC News’ Better website works wonders when you’re craving something sweet. Stephanie Mansour, personal trainer and CEO of Step It Up with Steph, recommends “changing” your taste buds when craving hit. Instead of going for another piece of cookie or a sweet, eat something bitter or peppery like broccoli or a pinch of mildly hot pepper instead. The change in taste sensations rewires your cravings and Mansour says that nine times out of ten, you won’t be reaching for that cookie.
Better yet, we recommend a drink of Simply Slender Master Cleanse. With just 50 calories per drink, refreshing lemon taste and a hint of cayenne - it’s a great way to change your taste buds to stop cravings.
Tip 5: Take control of what you eat during the holidays
Just because you’re on holiday vacation doesn’t mean your diet should be on one too. Make good healthy substitutions when serving meals or offer healthier options. Offer a spread of healthy and traditional holiday foods or even healthified traditional holiday dishes. At parties, go for the healthiest option available and use smaller salad plates to put your food. Be mindful of sauces and dressings and always remember - white means no, while red means go. A cup of creamy white sauce has around 262 calories and 17 grams of total fat while a cup of red sauce has 160 calories and 4 grams of fat.
Tip 6: Make the holidays about family and friends and not about food
Food is a big part of the holidays. Parties are a great way to bring together friends and family. But it doesn’t always have to be around food. Instead, socialize more and talk to friends and relatives. Keep the holiday buffet table far from your line of sight so you won’t be tempted. Stick to just one serving. Lastly, it’s a great idea to help out by volunteering to take the party photos or help around. The busier you are with mingling, the less tempted you’ll be to indulge.
If you’re hosting a party, a great idea to get you and your guests off the holiday dinner table is to create games for your guests to participate. Games aren’t just for kids. Have separate games that adults can join in too. You can play Holiday Charades, White Elephant Swap, Holiday Pictionary and more! Another great idea is to host a Holiday Karaoke Battle. Make it a new family tradition with prizes and an awesome trophy! Just make sure to be mindful of others and keep noise levels to a minimum.
Make memories to keep for years and make the holidays about the most important aspect of your life – friends and family. That said, we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Keep on track and keep on your road to fitness. You can do it!
"Hey Momma! Check Out How Many Calories You Burn" - Pop Sugar, September 22, 2011
"Calories Burned - Shoveling Snow" - Spark People
"Weight Gain & the Holidays: Steps to Prevent" - Cleveland Clinic
"Red vs White Sauce, Which is Better" - Spoon University
"Apple Cider" - NY Cider
"Six mental tricks to avoid holiday weight gain" - NBC News Better, December 11, 2018
"Get Physical: Play in the Snow" - Pop Sugar, December 15, 2007