For most of us, the holidays are a time for celebrations and social events. But the festivities bring on more food and drinks then we normally can handle. A few pounds can appear quickly and take weeks or months to lose. So this season, don’t let your healthy habits take a vacation. When attending a holiday event, these few tricks can keep the weight gain away. 

  • Affirm before you go to limit high fat & high carb foods – Tell yourself that you want to focus on healthy foods, but a little indulgence is OK.
  • Don’t go to a party hungry  – Since we tend to eat more when we are very hungry, consider a fruit or other healthy snack before you leave for your party. When you arrive, you won’t head straight for the appetizer table.
  • Portion Control – You can enjoy yourself but go  for small portions. You can still sample all the different servings but just less of them.
  • Skip the big offenders – Somethings are hard to resist even in small amounts. It is OK to skip the eggnog (or maybe just a sip ot be polite).
  • Limit the alcohol – The calories from alcoholic drinks add up quickly and won’t make your appetite go away. Have one drink, then switch to club soda mixed with fruit juice, a sugar-free drink or sparkling water.
  • Physical activity – With all the holiday events, getting to your workout may be hard. If you are crunched for time, a 20 minute work out (even a power walk) is better than nothing. Find the time in advance and stick to it.
  • Small plates –  Use the smaller plates at the buffet line so you can’t “pile on”. Start with the lighter foods like veggies and fruit so there is less room for the heavier foods.
  • Eat slow –  Don’t start eating as soon as you get your plate full. Walk away and  find a place to chat with others. Focus on the conversation and festivities.
  • Don’t bring temptation home – As hard as it is, politely decline offers to take the leftover cheesecake and cookies home. Keep your place free of temptation!
Share these tips with your friend or spouse so that when you arrive, you can encourage each other to make the right choice!
  • Image Source: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net (Unless otherwise noted, all images are models and not actual patients.)
  • Copyright: Karol A. Gutowski, M.D., Chicago, IL, 2011