One of the most prominent health-related issues this time of year is watching and maintaining a balanced diet. Most of us are worried about putting on a few extra pounds as a result of all the merriment. However, it can be easy to be kind to your waistline and still indulge in holiday bliss. Follow these six simple tips for holiday diet success.
1. Eat your veggies first.
Try filling up on the healthy items on your plate before digging into dishes high in calories and fat. If you eat fruits and vegetables first, you’ll end up eating less of the bad stuff by the end of the meal.
2. Don’t deprive yourself of the occasional holiday treat.
If you never allow yourself to indulge in the occasional dessert with all the trimmings, you’re likely to be constantly wanting—especially if you see your friends and family eating it. According to TIME, “A 2012 study by researchers at Tel Aviv University found that dieters who ate a pastry every day lost more weight than dieters who avoided them completely.” They say that when people are told not to eat something, the brain focuses on it more heavily than normal. It’s better to give in to temptation in moderation than to deprive and binge.
3. Find new ways to get up and move while keeping in the holiday spirit.
Try starting a new family tradition of getting outside and playing a game of football before Thanksgiving dinner. Lend a hand to the hostess and help clean up after the meal instead of falling asleep on the couch. Even standing up to watch the big game rather than sitting can help burn some holiday calories.
4. Maintain a normal diet even on party day.
It’s not good to starve yourself all day in anticipation of a big holiday meal. This will make you more likely to binge when it’s finally time to sit down and eat. Try eating a satisfying breakfast and a light lunch to balance out your big meal later and avoid going crazy at the buffet.
5. Eat slowly and be aware of your body.
People tend to eat less when eating slowly and savoring each bite. This is because we give ourselves time to become more aware of how full our stomach is getting. Remember, the first bite usually tastes just like the last—you aren’t missing out by only getting a small taste.
You don’t have to skip all the fun to avoid holiday weight gain this year. Be kind to your body this season and focus on the end goal you want to achieve. It can be easy to maintain your weight while still enjoy the festivities.
For more tips on eating healthy this holiday season, make an appointment to talk with your primary care physician and discuss which tactics will work best for you and your habits. Don’t have a primary care physician? Find one here.