How to Navigate the Holidays Without Weight Gain
By Brandi Goodman
The holiday season is often accompanied by sweet treats and festive meals. While it’s fine to indulge once in a while, doing so too often can quickly lead to holiday weight gain. Navigate the holidays without gaining weight by making some changes to your diet and sticking with mostly healthy foods.
Can I Cheat On My Diet During the Holidays?
While a cheat day or two won’t break your diet completely, you should still be doing what you can to maintain healthy eating habits. You won’t be able to keep up with a healthy weight if you’re constantly cheating on your diet and overeating foods loaded with sugar. If you’re enrolled in a weight loss program, they may have suggestions for how to avoid weight gain during this time of year. Always pay attention to the foods you’re putting in your body, be it the holidays or any other season.
Are There Healthy Foods I Can Trade Out for Cakes and Cookies?
Cakes and cookies are some of the most commonly enjoyed desserts during the holiday season. It can be difficult to work on weight maintenance with too many of these in your diet. However, there are healthy foods you can substitute for them, such as wheat crackers or sugar-free versions. Of course, eating fruits and vegetables is always the most worthwhile solution, but you can also find recipes for your favorite holiday treat using fewer ingredients and less butter and sugar. This will help you enjoy a beloved dessert in a healthier way.
What Could a Holiday Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Look Like?
Whatever holiday you’re celebrating, it’s imperative that you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner as usual. Too many people think they can lose weight by starving themselves all day until the celebratory meal time arrives with friends and family. This can actually have the opposite effect because you’re more likely to then overindulge. Start out with a healthy breakfast, such as a Greek yogurt parfait with berries, to get your day off on the right foot.
For lunch, stick with something light again. A piece of baked chicken with some veggies would suffice, or you could opt for a salad with minimal dressing. Since dinner is often a significant meal around the holidays, you can leave a little more room in your daily calorie count for it. Try making some changes, though, to ensure success. Mashed potatoes are a common staple, but mashing up some sweet potatoes instead is the better option since they’re packed with antioxidants and taste great even without butter or salt. Or cut these out completely and stick with your favorite roasted veggie for less fat and fewer calories. Lean meat like turkey or chicken is better than a ham or roast beef option that tends to add too much salt. Cinnamon-baked apples make for a healthier dessert compared to apple pie.
How Can I Snack Healthy When There Are Such Awesome Treats?
Every recipe has an alternative. You don’t have to miss out on the awesome treats you’re seeing in the store aisles. Instead, you just need to find substitutes so you can enjoy the same snacks with less sugar and unhealthy ingredients. Really rich foods, like fudge, can be made better with coconut oil and honey rather than butter, sugar, and milk.
What Type of Physical Activity Can I Try During the Holidays?
Any type of physical activity you do will help you with your weight management goals. It can be tough to get into an exercise routine during this busy season, but finding something you enjoy can help. Go for a jog or even just a walk around your neighborhood in the evening. You get the exercise your body needs while also getting to see the holiday lights. Dance around your living room to your favorite Christmas music. There are plenty of easy options.
Navigating the season by choosing healthier holiday foods and adding in exercise can help you avoid the weight gain that so many experience during this part of the year. Stay strong and stay focused and you will have an easier time getting through the holidays without overindulging.
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