Let’s be real here, the holidays are when we indulge in all things tasty and delicious and otherwise restricted. However, with this gift of treats...there comes the not so great gift of weight gain. But there are ways to avoid belly growth during the holidays. With a little bit of planning and some clever substitutions, you can keep your jeans fitting perfectly while still enjoying all the holiday deliciousness. Here are our tips for not gaining wait during the holidays...
Pick your treats wisely
You don’t have to eat all of the calorie-rich treats on offer. In fact, it can be more satisfying and definitely more belly-friendly to choose a select few.
Think to yourself, “what do I love to eat...what am I most looking forward to? And what do I find myself eating just because it’s there?”. You might find that you’re a total chocolate fiend, or a cheese fanatic or a potato chip obsessor. You might realize that you tend to mindlessly pick at candy or fried snacks when really you’re not so keen on them.
Decide on your most loved treat and allow yourself to enjoy it at free will. But when it comes to the not-so-loved treats which always happen to be there, make a deliberate choice to leave them alone. That way, you’ll cut down on extra calories without sacrificing the treats you really adore.
Choose smart drinks
Don’t forget that alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic sodas and juices add a lot of calories to your diet.
However, you don’t need to be a teetotaller over the holidays to avoid the drink-inflicted weight gain. Forgo the sugary cocktails and go for plain soda water with a dash of spirits and a lemon slice. It’s tasty and refreshing, but with a fraction of the calories.
You could even go half-and-half with your wine and champagne by combining it with plain soda water. Some people would consider this to be absolute blasphemy and a disgrace to the name of wine...but it’s actually really delicious, lower in calories, and lighter on the alcohol. Whenever you can, enjoy naturally-flavoured water instead of soda or juice and you’ll be cutting major amounts of calories you otherwise might have consumed without truly realising.
Eat lightly whenever you can
If you know you’ve got lots of parties, dinners and food-filled celebrations coming up, make your main meals light and nutritious.
Stick to fresh, light breakfasts with zero added sugars and very light carbs. Make your lunches full of fresh veggies and a little lean protein. This means that by the time you get around to your decadent parties and dinners, you’ve got a lot of calories to spare, without going hungry in the process.
Keep snacking to a minimum and try to have a few light-eating days thrown in amongst the decadent ones. This will simply help to balance out your calorie intake, combating weight gain.
Keeping your exercise plan going throughout the holidays can be very tough. There’s family to keep you occupied, hangovers to deal with and generally lots of fun to be had.
Make an achievable fitness goal to stick to during the holidays. For example, you could aim get to the gym three times per week and add an at-home workout in too. Or, you could get a few friends or family members on board with you and agree to go for long walks together or attend a few dance or fitness classes.
You can always utilize your home and the internet, as YouTube has endless at-home fitness tutorials to enjoy without having to leave the house. A little bit of organization and motivation goes a long way! Even if you can only manage to do short, at-home workouts whenever you can, it’s better than nothing.
Watch your portions
I know you’ve heard this one so many times, but it really does work. When enjoying your holiday snacks and meals, try not to go overboard with the portions.
It can be easy to throw all self control to the wind and absolutely stuff ourselves with amazing food. Don’t worry, you can still enjoy everything on offer! Just try to take it slow and have a little bit of the richer foods, and lots of the fresher, lighter foods. Fill your plate with fresh salads and veggies, and only go for a small portion of creamy or fatty foods. Enjoy all of the desserts and sweet treats, but choose a small portion and eat it slowly. It’s hard, but it’s worth it in the end!
You can absolutely avoid gaining weight over the holidays while still enjoying all the treats. Be mindful with your eating and only choose the high-calorie foods you really want. Go light on the alcohol and choose plain soda as a mixer or base whenever you can. Try to stay active, watch your portions and you’ll have nothing to worry about!