Saturday, November 22, 2008

11 Tips to Help You Enjoy the Holidays Without Packing on the Pounds

New Years Eve PartyDuring the holidays, food temptations are around every corner. Family get-togethers, office parties, and tins packed with homemade goodies offer little escape. But if you follow the eleven tips below, you’ll survive the season a little happier and healthier.

Following is a summary. If you would like to read the entire article, click here.

1. Psych yourself

Don't tell yourself, "It's okay, it's the holidays." That opens the door to 6 weeks of splurging.

2. Back away from the food

As obvious as it sounds, don't stand near the food at parties. At a buffet? Eating a little of everything guarantees high calories. Decide on three or four things, only one of which is high in calories. Save that for last so there's less chance of overeating.

3. Stop, drop and roll

Instead of burning the candle into the wee hours every night, just STOP what you're doing; DROP into bed; and ROLL over! Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can cause weight gain.

4. Get moving!

It's all about calories in vs. calories out, so make exercise a nonnegotiable priority. Try squeezing exercise minutes into each day to get your heart pumping. Ten minutes is better than nothing. In fact, 10 minutes in the morning is often the best time for weight loss during the holiday since our days get busy with extra to-do’s and social events.

Holiday party spread5. Stick with the 5-a-day plan

Make sure to get your fruits and vegetables. The excess sugar often consumed during the holidays gives us an energy high and then a crash. So fill up on healthy food -- eat five fruits and vegetables a day BEFORE you allow yourself to snack on holiday treats.

6. Don't be tempted by temptation

Avoid constantly putting yourself in situations that tempt you. For example, don’t walk through the break room at work 10 times a day when you know it's filled with holiday treats and candies. Spend a few minutes in the morning packing a healthy snack (like almonds, a piece of fruit or a yogurt) so you'll have a healthy weight-loss alternative. Remember, EAT before you meet. Have this small meal before you go to any parties: a hard-boiled egg, an apple, and a thirst quencher (water, seltzer, diet soda, tea).

7. Liquid calories count

Holidays are notorious for tempting us with drinks we wouldn't normally consume. Alcohol offers no nutrients - just empty calories, and we often forget to count them. Eggnog coffee drinks with whipped cream, hot toddies, spiced rum, these drinks can have as many calories as a personal pan pizza! If you want to go for the alcohol, alternate alcoholic drinks with diet-friendly, calorie-free sparkling water.

Thanksgiving dinner8. Be social and generous

Take your camera and be the designated photographer. You can't eat while snapping wriggling kids. Brush up your small talk; talking slows down eating. And finally, give it away! After your party company leaves, give away leftover food to neighbors, doormen, or delivery people, or take it to work the next day.

9. Save it for something special

Indulge only in new, interesting foods; have one taste of each. Avoid feeling deprived and distracted by food all evening long - allow yourself one dessert or holiday truffle per event. When you’re done, destroy the plate. If you've had enough to eat but others are still picking, dump salt over any food you have left.

10. Pace yourself

Eating slowly doesn't just decrease the amount of food you consume, it also fills you up faster. Healthy women who were instructed to wolf down their meals ate more food (by nearly 70 calories) but felt less satisfied than women who were told to take their time (21 minutes longer, to be exact), according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. To get into a slower rhythm, take smaller bites, chew thoroughly, and put your fork down between each one.

11. Write it down

Just the simple act of recording what you eat can help you cut calories. In a recent study of 1,685 adults published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the more food records a person kept, the more weight they lost. For a modern method, try e-mailing the information to yourself or using a computer program such as http://www.prevention.com/foodlog.

Source: here

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© 2008 Thanks for taking the time to read A Junk-Foodaholic's Journey to a Healthy Lifestyle. Please feel free to peruse my blog for more great content.

My Other Websites: Are Your Vitamins Safe? Whole Food Nation Affiliate Link

9 comments:

Tony said...

In addition to writing it down (step 11), I also commit my food to another person. I'm in Overeaters Anonymous and many of us use that technique.

Thanks for the great post.

Leo (Healthy Tips For A Healthy Lifestyle) said...

I like the 8th tip!
Snapping photos of people so one can't have time to eat... :)
Very creative :)

ktales said...

I think a lot of people forget about the liquid calories. Punch, soda, eggnog, liquor and everything else add up.

good post.

kt

Lose Weight Naturally Now said...

I liked the 5th and 11th tips. Keeping food journal should be really helpful in knowing what we are putting in our stomachs so that we are awakened rudely from our bad eating habits.

The 5th tips about eating fruits and vegetables is also a good one. Raw fruits and vegetables can be really good for weight loss as they contain fiber and are low in calories.

dawn @ iowahippiechick said...

Terrific tips - I especially like #8!
I also try to remind my hubby about liquid calories adding up - he tends to forget that!

Laura-Junkfoodaholic.com said...

Tony - Thanks for your comment. I'm not familiar with the term "commit my food to another person". What does that mean?

Leo - Yeah, I thought #8 was a great idea too!

KT - I agree. It's easy to forget all the calories we consume in beverages.

Lose Weight Naturally Now - Though I haven't done it consistently, I've heard that keeping a food journal is a great weight loss tool and you're right - eating raw fruits and vegetables is great for weight loss (though it's best to limit fruit consumption).

Dawn - I thought #8 was a great idea too. It makes a lot of sense doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

love this blog

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that.

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