The holidays are here, the most wonderful time of the year and we celebrate all month long — eating, drinking, shopping, family, friends, and music. This time of year puts us all in such a good mood we tend to eat and drink more than usual, diets often go by the wayside.
Christmas dinners and parties as well as New Years celebration often offer second thoughts or even guilt going into the new year. What will make us healthier in the coming year and what can we do differently in the coming year that hasn’t been done in the past year.
Without thinking, the most common response is that we would like to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Well, during the last part of November and all of December we glutinously celebrate, overindulge if you will, for 7 weeks and that in itself will cause weight gain.
So we look at the latter part of the year and resolve to do things differently next year when we should have been conscious of what we consume during Thanksgiving and Christmas prior to its arrival.
Maintaining your diet regimen or healthy lifestyle takes effort. It is so easy to just eat and drink and not think about it. The holidays represent that level of thinking, eating and drinking and being merry.
Drinking is another issue that causes weight gain during the holidays as alcohol is loaded with calories. Instead of overindulgence take steps to still enjoy the holidays and maintain your weight goal and healthy lifestyle.
According to the CDC there are things you can do to enjoy the holidays and avoid weight gain:
- Enjoy your holiday comfort foods, but try a lower-calorie version. Use lower-calorie ingredients or prepare meals differently. For example, if your macaroni and cheese recipe uses whole milk, butter, and full-fat cheese, try using non-fat milk, less butter, light cream cheese, and include vegetables like fresh spinach and tomatoes.
- Fruits and Veggies: Most fruits and veggies are low-calorie and will fill you up, but the way you prepare them can have an adverse effect. Breading and frying, and using high-fat creams or butter with vegetables and fruit will add extra calories. Try steaming vegetables and using spices and low-fat sauces for flavor. Raw fruit is naturally sweet so you get your sweet tooth satisfied.
- Eat smaller food portions at home and when eating out. When eating out, save some of your meal and take it home to make another meal or split one meal between two people. At home, try putting only the amount you want to eat in a small bowl and don’t go back for more. Avoid larger portions as people tend to eat more when served larger portion sizes.
- Drink water. Choose water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. This tip can help with weight management. Substituting water for one 20-ounce sugar-sweetened soda will save you around 200 or more calories, depending on the drink you choose. Give your water a little pizzazz by adding a wedge of lime or lemon. This may improve the taste, and you just might drink more water than you usually do.
- Eat breakfast every day. When you don’t eat breakfast, you are likely to make up for the calories you saved by eating more later on in the day. Many people who maintain long-term weight loss eat breakfast daily. www.cdc.gov
Enjoy the holiday, stay healthy and maintain your weight goal, don’t wait for the for the new year stay on point.