With all the parties, festivities, and family gatherings that happen in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, it can be difficult not to indulge in all the rich foods and treats. According to one study, research participants weighed more in the 10 days after the holiday season than they did in the 10 days before.
In general, the average person will add about one pound every holiday season. Though that doesn’t seem like much, it adds up over time and can affect your quality of life and overall health. At RiverCity Family Medicine, PLLC in Chattanooga, Tennessee, our knowledgeable family medicine physician, Anthony G. Avitabile, Jr., DO, offers a comprehensive weight loss program to help you manage your weight. In this blog, he offers 10 tips to prevent packing on the holiday pounds.
1. Drink water
Water helps keep your metabolism working well and rids your body of toxins and excess sodium from holiday fare. It also keeps you hydrated, so you don’t mistake thirst for hunger and overeat.
You can counteract some of the calories in holiday cookies, candies, and treats by adding 10 or 15 minutes to your exercise routine. It’s also a great time to get outside with family for a 30-minute walk before or after a meal where you can continue your visit together by doing something healthful for your body.
3. Eat before you go out
This is a favorite strategy of dieters. When you know that you’ll face temptation in the form of party foods, snacks, and sweets, you can fill up beforehand with healthy options like carrot sticks, nuts, olives, or apples.
4. Partner with someone
Whether it’s your spouse or a friend you trust, ask someone who has your best interests in mind to help you navigate the holiday foods without overindulging.
5. Portion your food
Try to cut your portions in half so you can taste a bit of everything without taking in too many calories. At dinners or parties, select the smallest plate to help you keep your portions in check.
6. Sleep better
Lack of sleep makes you prone to eat more and gain weight. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night to stay well rested and alert throughout the holiday season.
7. Keep calm
Stress and weight gain are often linked to one another. During the hectic holiday season, take time to relax, get a massage, take a soothing bath, or indulge in an occasional nap to keep the stress at bay.
8. Monitor your alcohol intake
A drink or two too many not only adds calories but causes you to let your guard down and eat mindlessly. Make a decision ahead of your party or event about how many drinks you will have, and then stand firm on your decision.
9. Listen to your body
Controlling the amount of food you eat during the weeks from Thanksgiving to the New Year is to only eat when you are truly hungry and to stop when you are gently or pleasantly full.
10. Plan no-food fun
One way to spend time with people you love is to plan events and activities that have nothing to do with food. Ice skating, shopping, caroling, skiing, or watching a play or musical are festive ways to celebrate without food.
If you need help losing or managing your weight, Dr. Avatibile offers a range of options, such as counseling, supplements, medications, and injections. To get started with a custom plan that suits your needs and goals, call us today or request an appointment online.