It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Families gather. Work hosts their often one-time party. And it’s filled with food and drink. In fact; to be the bummer of statistics, the average American gains five to eight pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.
No wonder there are the New Year’s Resolutions.
But let’s not look at the downside. Sure, Grandma’s best pie, cookies and cake are loved this time of year. So are the many holiday parties you are invited to. It’s not a time to pack rice-cakes in your purse or backpack. But there are ways to help you avoid being a “pack on the pounds” statistic.
According to the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association – here are a few tips to help you enjoy the holiday season while still not having regrets come January 2:
Enjoy the party, but don’t overdo it!
It’s a good idea to eat a healthy snack before the party so you don’t arrive hungry to the calorie-laden snacks. Or, offer to bring your favorite healthy dish to share. But shhhhhh. Best not to tell everyone that it’s healthy. That doesn’t often go over well when many people are simply enjoying the festivities of the season and ignoring counting calories! On the other hand, if you know your friends at the gathering and know who’s right there with you trying to keep off the pounds, be ready to share the good news about your healthy dish – and be ready to give the recipe.
Drink in moderation.
Alcohol adds significant calories to holiday intake. Keep alcohol consumption to no more than one drink if you’re a woman and two if you’re a man. Avoid high-calorie mixed drinks that include heavy creams, sugary sodas or juice. Many people indulge in alcohol more than any other time of the year. But beware, holiday drinks – in all their forms – are big contributors to the battle of the bulge.
Think of physical activity during the holidays as time to spend quality time with friends and family. A brisk walk after heavy meals, or using time away from work to pick up an exercise routine is good not only to keep off the pounds – but also good for the soul!
Focus on what matters most.
The holidays are a time to slow down and catch up with loved ones. Remember to focus on friends and family, not food. Play games, volunteer or spend time outdoors. Great memories don’t have to be made only at the dinner table.
If you mess up, get back on track.
If you eat or drink more than you should have, don’t give up and think you’ve failed! Focus on the company around you. Tomorrow’s a new day. Give yourself a gift by first forgiving yourself and begin again with the tips provided above.