HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN | Some are building out their Thanksgiving menus and guest lists, while others are making room in the freezer for their turkeys.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you may feel a bit anxious about the approaching holiday season due to the temptations you know you might soon be facing. However, you can still have a healthy Thanksgiving holiday as long as you make smart decisions and stick to your weight-loss goals.
Here are four ways you can avoid being a victim of holiday weight gain:
Make before-and-after diet plans
If you really don’t think you’ll be able to avoid overeating and indulging over the Thanksgiving holiday, make plans to eat extremely healthy and exercise regularly during the week before Thanksgiving, as well as during the week after Thanksgiving. Omit desserts, processed foods, and as much sodium from your diet as possible, and stick to a regular fitness routine. Studies show that as long as you manage your diet and exercise consistently, indulging a bit more during the holiday won’t result in any significant weight-loss setbacks.
Be more physically active than usual
In addition to engaging in your regular fitness routine, find ways to add more physical activity to your schedule over the course of the holiday weekend. Park as far away as you can from stores and shopping centers on Black Friday, and take stairs whenever possible. Also, organize a few fun, outdoor family activities to burn off extra calories, such as touch football games or group walks at nearby parks or trails.
Add healthy items to your Thanksgiving menu
Shake up Thanksgiving a bit this year by adding healthier alternatives to the menu. For example, instead of serving mashed potatoes with butter and sour cream, serve steamed potatoes, which retain nutrients far better than boiled potatoes. If you don’t feel like straying from your traditional family Thanksgiving menu, look for ways to substitute ingredients. Cook using olive oil instead of butter, and swap out sour cream for Greek yogurt.
Limit your portion sizes
The best way to limit your portion sizes is to use a small plate, and avoid going back for seconds. If you usually put all food on the table, try keeping everything in the kitchen this year, and encourage everyone to serve themselves buffet-style to prevent yourself from grabbing for extra helpings. Also, eat and chew your food slowly so your stomach can efficiently signal to your brain that you are full and that it’s time to stop eating.
HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN | Karen Eisenbraun is a certified holistic nutrition consultant and writer with a background in digital marketing. She has written extensively on the topics of nutrition and holistic health for many leading websites.