5 Tips To Help Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

By on December 1, 2011

By Kathi Casey, ERYT, CPI –

December is the one month each year that almost everyone I know gains a few pounds. Holiday cookies are on everyone’s desk and at all the water coolers; neighbors send gifts of fruit cakes, snack mix and other delectable delights; and oh, the holiday parties! Family traditions abound during this time of year, like my favorite – my daughter-in-law and I have a cookie baking party each year, and then we share what each of us bakes. It’s so much work that we hardly taste any of the little treasures when we’re done, but we really enjoy the camaraderie and the glass of wine while we’re baking! All of these traditions in one month means extra fat and calories are consumed. I’m not going to suggest that we don’t take part in all these fabulous events, in fact, just the opposite. The older I get, the more I realize the importance of these holiday rituals for our emotional and spiritual health. What I will suggest today though, are a few simple steps we can all take that will keep the amount of weight gain down to a minimum.

  • First, resolve to enjoy your food – savor the flavor! This is an important step, because when we take a minute to inhale the smells of freshly roasted squash, or anything sautéed in garlic and onions, or those freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, we slow down our eating. Eating slowly helps us to digest our food better, and most of us eat less when we slow down and savor. I know how hard it can be to find the time to actually sit down to a meal and enjoy, but now more than ever, it’s a good habit to get into!
  • Another good practice is to take a walk with your family either before or after a big meal. When family and friends gather for a big meal, it’s a good time to enjoy a brisk walk through the neighborhood. This tradition also shows the children and grandchildren that exercise is an important part of the holidays. Some families include an afternoon of skiing, skating or sledding before their big meal. Any exercise that you include will help you burn off a few of those extra calories, so plan something fun that your whole family will enjoy this holiday season.
  • Eating an apple about an hour before your meal helps fill you up and also improves digestion, so when you know you’re going out for a party where there will be huge amounts of food, eat an apple on the way. You will enjoy your meal without feeling so full that you need a wheelbarrow to get you home afterwards!
  • Drink plenty of water – especially when partaking of the holiday punch, Champagne or wine. Drink a large glass of water between each of your holiday drinks and you’ll drink less. Also, stay away from the eggnog. One little cup of eggnog contains 343 calories and 11 grams of saturated fat – Yikes! I usually allow myself one at Thanksgiving and one at Christmas, and I use a low fat version of eggnog! The Horizon low fat eggnog has about half the fat and “only” 260 calories.
  • I see many people each year who starve themselves all day or for a couple of days in anticipation of a big family meal or holiday party. They think that if they don’t eat anything all day, it will make up for the extra calories at the feast. The opposite is actually true. Our bodies need nutrients on a regular basis every day and when we don’t give our body what it needs, it begins to break down our muscle for fuel and also slows down metabolism. The net effect of these measures means that when we go back to eating regularly, our body wants to store up fat for the next time we starve ourselves and so we’re likely to gain a few pounds. A better idea altogether, is to eat a few smaller meals during the day that include a little bit of protein and veggies but no bread or pasta.
  • Lastly, don’t stress out about a few pounds! I’ve been on this planet for nearly 60 years and each holiday season I put on a few pounds. Then, I continue another great holiday tradition of making New Year’s resolutions to take the weight off in January. So enjoy the holidays, knowing that you’ll get back to healthy eating and your regular exercise routine, and that you’ll be back to your pre-holiday weight in no time!

 

Kathi Casey, “The Healthy Boomer Body Expert” is a renowned health and wellness coach, popular Baby Boomer columnist, Amazon bestselling author, has appeared on Fox 23, ABC-8 Evening News, and produces her own TV show, “To Your Health.” She’s the founder of The Healthy Boomer Body Center in Massachusetts. Her book “STOP Back Pain” is an Amazon international best seller. Her blog ranked #10 in nursingschools.net list of 50 top Health Blogs. For the last 9 years, she’s been teaching people how to take charge of their own Health Care – Regardless of what Congress does! http://www.HealthyBoomerBody.com

 

About healthyboomer

Kathi Casey, "The Healthy Boomer Body Expert" is a renowned health and wellness coach, popular Baby Boomer columnist, Amazon bestselling author, has appeared on Fox 23, ABC-8 Evening News, and produces her own TV show, “To Your Health.” She’s the founder of The Healthy Boomer Body Center in Massachusetts. Her book “STOP Back Pain” is an Amazon international best seller. Her blog ranked #10 in nursingschools.net list of 50 top Health Blogs. For the last 9 years, she’s been teaching people how to take charge of their own Health Care – Regardless of what Congress does! http://www.HealthyBoomerBody.com

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5 Tips To Help Prevent Holiday Weight Gain