10 Tips to Maintain Weight Loss over the Holidays
With the holidays approaching, food is going to be more accessible. Holiday parties, cooler temperatures, shopping and traveling may also hinder our exercise program.
Below are some tips to help maintain weight loss and stay in control during the holidays!!
- Get adequate sleep (at least 7-8 hours per night). Feeling tired can make you feel hungrier and more likely to make less healthy food choices.
- Don’t take a Protein “Holiday”. Protein will control appetite, provide blood sugar control, curb cravings and help you feel full. Make sure to include a protein source with each meal and/or snack. Protein sources include: chicken, turkey, lean meats, fish, eggs, yogurt, low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, beans and protein powders/shakes.
- Eat slowly. Remember it takes about 20-30 minutes to register your brain that you are full. Also, eating slow will help prevent you from getting sick. Slow down, listen to your stomach and practice mindful eating.
- Don’t allow yourself to get too hungry. When we get too hungry, we are less likely to make healthy choices and overeat. Don’t skip meals or go too long between meals without a snack.
- Stay consistent with your exercise routine. Don’t allow the hustle and bustle of the holidays or cold weather interfere with moving your body! PLAN your exercise around your parties, shopping, traveling , etc but don’t forfeit it! Find a workout buddy and/or group to help hold you accountable! The key is “plan” and “accountability”. Staying consistent with exercise will also help keep holiday stress at bay—a bonus!
- Set goals and keep a food journal. If you bite it, your write it! Keeping a food journal whether on paper or via phone app will help hold you accountable.
- Don’t forget that water bottle—stay hydrated! Drink at least 64 ounces of fluid per day. Avoid alcohol, carbonated drinks, sugary/sweetened drinks and caffeine! Staying hydrated will also help curb appetite. Sometimes we think we are hungry when really we are thirsty!
- Don’t hang around the food table at the party. You will be less likely to mindlessly graze on finger foods and snacks if you remove yourself from the table and go mingle with friends and family!
- Eat a protein rich small meal or snack before the party. Protein will help keep you satiated longer so that you are less likely to graze or overeat at the party.
- Stay positive. Holidays can be a fun, yet stressful time of year. Do something you love to do (that is non-food related)! If you have a “bad” day, get back on track the next day!
Jamie Carpenter, MS,RD,LDN