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Home / Blog / How to Maintain Your Weight During the Holidays
How to Maintain Your Weight During the Holidays
Eating healthy is hard in America, isn’t it?
You certainly have plenty of options for it.
But everywhere you go you have abundant opportunity to eat cookies, pie, cake, salty snacks, and sugary desserts. At work, junk food may be part of company culture.
If you want to maintain your weight during the holidays, you’ll certainly have your challenges.
So how do you do it?
Here’s some ideas:
Eat Before You Attend the Event
No, you didn’t misread that. This is not a joke. Don’t eat a full meal. But do eat a highly satiating, protein-heavy food before you go somewhere.
Every grocery store offers at least several protein shake options. They fill you up and reduce your hunger. You can control the amount so you only partially fill up.
When you’re half full, and not necessarily ravenously hungry, it’s much easier to make smart choices about what to eat.
You can also substitute or add cheese, meat, fish, nuts, or whole grain foods, which all help you feel full (and are healthy too).
Stick to Healthy Foods First
Don’t graze or snack. When you’re with family, fill up on the main course – turkey, chicken, potatoes, fish, ham, or whatever foods you have available.
Between that and the pre-meal you ate at home, you should be nearly full on fairly healthy food.
It’s okay to eat a dessert or two. That may add some weight, but it’ll likely be so little you won’t even notice it. But if you wait until the end of your meal to have the dessert, it’ll be so much easier to eat the right kind and amount because you’ll be nearly full anyway.
Bring Your Own Food
If you have the type of family even where everyone brings a dish or two, bring something healthy. You don’t have to be obnoxious about it and go all out with your favorite Brussels sprouts plate.
Show up with something healthy everyone likes – shrimp, salmon, roast beef – whatever makes most sense for your family’s eating habits.
Limit the Alcohol You Drink
Alcohol reduces your inhibitions and makes it much harder to make smart choices. You have that family member who makes that abundantly clear during every gathering. Drink a couple beers, one glass of wine, or one liquor drink, but shut it down after that.
Better yet, drink after you eat your meal because the food already in your body reduces the effects of the alcohol you consume.
If you must have something to drink after that, make it club soda or water. Or even make it a sugary soda if you have to.
If you combine all these habits with at least minimal exercise, or even none at all, your weight should stay basically the same throughout the holidays. You may notice a few more pounds.
…But you won’t find yourself suddenly 20 pounds heavier than the last time you braved the scale!