This is my favorite time of year. There’s nothing like baking cookies all day, attending holiday parties, and relaxing by a warm fire at night. There’s only one problem: it often leads to a not-so-merry weight gain. While we may act like Santa around the holidays, buying and wraping presents, that doesn’t mean we should look like the jolly man when the holidays are over.
So what’s a Christmas cookie lover to do? It may seem challenging to enjoy all of the holiday festivities without gaining weight, but it is possible. Avoiding holiday weight gain can be as simple as remembering, and applying, these three concepts: be prepared, remain aware, and when in doubt, workout. Not convinced it’s as simple as it sounds? Read on, and see what you think:
You’re out shopping when your stomach begins to growl. You planned to be home in time to eat, but the long checkout line, the crowded parking lot, and the bumper-to-bumper traffic between the store and your home are making that impossible.
Bring a healthy, portable snack with you no matter where you go (even if it’s just a “10 minute errand”). Something as simple as a piece of fruit would be perfect.
There’s a party later this evening, and you decide to skip lunch and your afternoon snack to “save” calories. Now it’s party time, and you’re starving, but the food there is not what you would consider healthy.
Keep your regular eating schedule, but choose lighter options for each meal. Also, eat a high-protein snack before the party to help keep you full while there. These strategies will reduce the risk of overeating.
“Little tastes” of food can easily add up to more calories than you would expect. This goes for whether you are at home or at a party.
Here are the calorie counts of some common holiday treats:Eggnog (1 cup): 112 calories Wine (5 fl. oz.): 120 calories Cheddar cheese (1 oz): 113 calories Sugar cookie (1): 120 calories Candy cane (1): 40 calories Chocolate chips (1 tbsp): 70 calories Mixed nuts (1 oz): 168 calories
When in doubt, workout:
While the holidays are joyful, they can also be stressful. Do yourself a favor, and make time each day to engage in physical activity. I’m not saying that you have to go for a run, even though that would be an excellent idea, but I am saying that you should do your best to move as much as possible. Even parking farther from the store or taking the stairs instead of the escalator will help. Exercise is a proven stress-buster, and it will help to balance out any extra calories you may be eating. It doesn’t get much better than that if you ask me.
Remember these three concepts, and enjoy the holiday season!