The holidays are a time for celebration and connecting with the people we love. However, that also means that the holidays often involve large meals and treat-laden parties, both of which can make it difficult for many of us to stay true to our weight loss programs.
Don’t let the holidays disrupt or slow down your progress toward achieving your weight loss goals. Arm yourself with these practical tips to help you stay on track this holiday season.
If you don’t plan for it, it probably won’t happen. As your holiday calendar fills up, be sure to schedule time for exercise. Even if you can only fit in 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there, it all adds up. Aim for at least 30 minutes per day of moderately intense exercise. Working out during the holiday season can help prevent weight gain. Moreover, it is also a great way to relieve any holiday stress you may be feeling.
Going hungry in the early part of the day to “make room” for a big holiday dinner simply makes you more likely to overeat once the party gets underway. Avoid the temptation to skip meals. Instead, have a protein-packed breakfast, followed by a healthy lunch and snack during the day. That way, you’ll feel full enough not to overindulge during your evening holiday celebrations.
Potlucks are a staple this time of year. If you’re attending a potluck party — whether at work or with loved ones — plan on bringing a healthy dish. That way, you know there will be at least one menu item you can enjoy guilt-free.
Don’t go to a holiday party or gathering without a plan in place. That means knowing exactly what you will and won’t eat once you arrive. Rather than going solo, take a friend or family member with you who can hold you accountable to making healthy choices.
Keeping track of your goals, food intake and exercise with a weight loss app adds an extra layer of accountability all year long, especially during the holidays. MyFitnessPal, SparkPeople, Mindful Eating Tracker, Lose It! and Healthy Out are just a few weight loss apps you may find helpful this time of year.
Drink at least 64 ounces of water every day to help keep your stomach full. Avoid filling up on the “empty” calories contained in eggnog, holiday cocktails, coffee drinks and cider. Stick to calorie-free beverages instead. Drinking water also helps to reduce your cravings for foods that are high in sugar, fat and calories.
The holidays can be a particularly difficult time for anyone trying to lose weight. Allow yourself to enjoy the season. If nothing else, make it your goal to maintain your current weight rather than focusing on weight loss during the holidays. If you have more questions about which weight loss programs and weight loss surgeries can help you reach your weight loss goals, contact your First Baptist Medical Center bariatric surgeon, Dr. Todd McCarty, today.