Holiday weight gain is the reason that so many New Year’s resolutions involve going to the gym, eating healthier, and being more active.
While you should absolutely try to live a healthy and active lifestyle, there is no reason to exhaust yourself at the gym to try and shed the “winter fluff” that you have accumulated.
Instead, you can resolve right now to simply make a few small changes to how you approach holiday festivities this season. With the five tips listed below, you will likely notice that you feel better than usual by the time the New Year arrives.
Here are five ways to prevent weight gain during the 2019 holiday season.
1. Watch Your Portion Sizes
This may sound like an “easier said than done” tip, but it doesn’t have to be. Watching your portions doesn’t mean that you weigh every gram of food or track every calorie. It doesn’t mean that you can’t indulge in seasonal treats.
Instead, make an effort to choose the smallest plate size when you’re portioning your food. Using a smaller sized plate will not only help you to limit how much you consume, but it will actually help you feel like you’re eating more than you really are.
A small plate that’s completely full is a visual cue to your stomach that you’re feasting. This means you won’t feel like you’re going hungry or missing out on any good food.
2. Establish a Consistent Workout Schedule
Most people think that they need to wait until after the holiday festivities are over to begin being more active. This can actually make your fitness journey harder than necessary.
Although the majority of posts about how to lose weight after the holidays will tell you that you should do longer and harder workouts. This isn’t really the most effective way to stay healthy.
Instead, you should make an effort to join a group fitness class or create your own exercise program ahead of time, so that by the time the holidays arrive, you’ll already be in the habit of working out multiple times a week. Your body will also be in better shape, so if you do gain a bit of weight, you’ll be able to incorporate more intense workout sessions with ease.
3. Limit Liquid Calories
Seasonal lattes, comforting hot cocoas, and festive cocktails can all add up to a hefty amount of calories pretty quickly.
Whether you’re sipping alcoholic beverages, sodas, or specialty coffees, it’s helpful to be aware of how many calories are in each drink. Knowing this will allow you to limit yourself.
You don’t have to pass up the occasional liquid treat. By setting a daily or weekly limit for yourself can go a long way when trying to reduce weight gain during the holidays.
4. Wait Before You Grab Seconds
It’s easy to overeat when the food is good because you tend to eat quickly before immediately filling your plate again. This habit is one that just about everybody is guilty of, but paying attention to the way you eat is an easy way to limit weight gain.
Instead of cleaning your plate and going back for seconds right away, try eating more slowly and waiting between helpings. Once you start eating, the general rule is that it takes about 20 minutes for your body to recognize whether you are full or not.
Practice savoring each bite of food and taking small sips of your drink between bites. If you still feel like you want seconds, wait about 20 minutes to see if you feel hungry. You will often find that you’re not as hungry as you first thought you were.
If possible, you can also take a second helping home to enjoy later when you do feel hungry again.
5. Never Leave the House on an Empty Stomach
One of the biggest causes of weight gain during the holiday season is filling up on calorie-laden snacks and drinks during parties and social gatherings.
If you know you’re going to a party that is likely to have lots of rich food and drinks, do yourself a favor and eat a healthy snack before you leave the house. If you arrive at a party feeling hungry, you’re more likely to overindulge, and this can pack on unwanted pounds pretty quickly.
Another way to keep yourself from overeating is to have a glass of water before you fill your plate. You can also choose to grab a big serving from the fruit and veggie platters before you move on to the richer party snacks.
Restricting Weight Gain Doesn’t Have to Mean Restricting Your Diet
You might feel like the only way to keep yourself from gaining weight during the holidays is to cut out all of the indulgent foods and drinks that the season has to offer. Fortunately, this isn’t the case.
If you follow these five tips, you can enjoy all of your favorite holiday treats and still fit into your favorite pair of pants.