It is that time of the year where extra calories creep around every corner – from chocolates in your stocking to jelly doughnuts for Thanksgiving, eggnog at your neighbor’s, and frosted cookies at the office, all these extras add up and within a blink of an eye you enter the new year carrying a few extra pounds.
According to research conducted by the scientists at the National Institutes of Health, it was concluded that most Americans never tend to lose weight that they gained during the holiday season. The pounds add up year after year, making the holiday weight gain the vital factor in adult obesity.
Considering the fact that the average adult adds on 2.2 pounds yearly, it means that more than 75% of that annual weight gain happens during the winter break.
But it is possible to relish the holiday season without falling into this trap. You can enjoy all the holiday goodies without putting on those extra pounds. Experts at YesWellness.com say ‘portion control’ is the key. It is not that you don’t eat the food you like, but it is the amount you eat.
Obviously, it is harder than it sounds, as it is not easy to go on a portion patrol, especially when it is the holiday season and all your favorite foods are being made – the temptations are endless.
This is the main reason we have compiled a list of few tips that can help you avoid overeating. Try these strategies and you can still savor your favorite treats and food and be merry without stacking on pounds.
#1 Select a Smaller Plate
The bigger the plate, the larger will be the portion you put on it. One recent study found that Chinese buffet restaurants with big plates served 52% more food, ate 45% more food, and discarded 135% more food as compared to those smaller plates. Smaller plates as compared to larger plates make normal portions look more filling and heavy. It is easy to deceive your brain but go too small and you will be inclined to go back for a second plate.
So, this holiday season, overlook those oversized diners and undersized appetizer dishes and instead, go for a more moderate-sized salad plate.
#2 Be Picky, Picky, Picky
Explore the buffet before you load your plate in order to avoid foods that you really don’t want to eat. You will eventually put some on your plate because others at the buffet are doing so. So it is better to peruse the buffet so that you will know what you are going to eat and what you are going to avoid.
The takeaway this season? Experts suggest avoiding foods that you don’t want to eat, especially at buffets. If, for instance, you could leave or take sushi but adore oysters, don’t begin with tuna rolls eager to be able to fight the garlic bread.
#3 Limit your Alcohol Intake
The holiday parties are all about craft beer and red wines. Avoid drinking too much booze during this holiday season. It is known that alcohol increases hunger and if you drink a lot, you will not be able to control what you eat and how much you eat. It is not just about the calories but about the control.
Alcohol calories add up fast, a 5-ounce of wine has more than 100 calories and a 12-ounce beer has 140 calories. Additionally, drinking too much may lower your inhibitions. Therefore, when you are guzzling, you are likely to eat more. So try being a designated driver and avoid alcohol completely or stick to just a drink or two.
#4 Stay Hydrated
When rushing around shopping, prepping up the house for hosting the guests it is easy to forget to drink plenty of water. And the start of the winters also makes us drink less water. Human brain easily confuses being thirsty and being hungry, so drinking plenty of water regularly will keep you from munching on those cheeseburgers when what you really need is to drink. Moreover, staying hydrated will keep your body fresh by keeping all the toxins out. This can also help you maintain a healthy weight during the holiday season.
#5 Stick With Healthy Habits
Don’t get caught up in the middle of the holiday buzz, keep following your everyday routine like going to the gym or a run, preparing a healthy salad for morning breakfast, and drinking your routine protein shake. It will help you stick to your healthy routine while enjoying the holiday vibes.
Remember, discipline is the key and it is important to enjoy the holiday season as much as others are. But there is a catch! Get enough sleep, don’t skip your morning workouts, and eat your favorite holiday foods in the right proportion.