and holiday pounds to be losing.
The holidays are a time of celebration and gatherings, which means eating, drinking, and holiday weight-gain. Don't wait to make “losing extra holiday pounds” a New Year's resolution. Maintaining your weight during the holiday season, rather than gaining pounds, is a great step in starting a healthy lifestyle for the New Year.
Here are some tips to keep you eating smart and feeling great throughout the holidays:
Stay hydrated: Many of us mistake thirst for hunger, thinking we want food when what our bodies really need is a drink of plain water. So we overeat, and leave our bodies still thirsting. Ask yourself, am I really hungry or just thirsty? Try to avoid soft drinks (even diet pop) and limit drinks with caffeine to 3 cups per day. Remember, nothing hydrates better than water.
Choose wisely: We shouldn't feel that we have to deprive ourselves during the holidays, but we can choose carefully. Skip the eggnog and choose alcoholic drinks with less calories. A small glass of wine is one of the most diet friendly drinks you could choose, but remember to limit the amount you consume. A glass of red wine contains 80 calories vs. a typical serving of eggnog which contains around 340 calories. When it comes to buffet tables, pile your plate with colourful and freshly prepared food like vegetable sticks, hummus and shrimp cocktails. Try to avoid anything with pastry, sauce, cheese, cream, white refined carbs - don't deny yourself everything but keep it low. At dessert time, limit choices to only one or two items or try just a sliver for taste. Portion control is the key to enjoying traditional holiday foods without feeling deprived.
Controlled Contribution: Whether you’re hosting or going to a holiday gathering, include a few low calorie, healthy dishes to go along with traditional holiday fare. Some examples include a large salad with toasted pine nuts and cranberries for holiday flare, a platter of vegetable strips with a low-fat dip, baguette rounds with light spreads, and fresh rice paper rolls stuffed with fresh vegetables and tofu or prawns.
Be Prepared: Have healthy snacks on hand. Eat Before You Shop. Have a snack before heading out to a holiday party. This will prevent you from overeating or making poor choices at the food court or buffet table.
Get enough sleep: Adding holiday shopping and late night parties can make it difficult to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Remember that well-rested people weigh less. One study even found that sleeping 8.5 hours per night can help you burn fat without losing muscle. So hit snooze - it’s for your health.
Keep on Moving: Just because you have even more tasks to juggle this time of year than you usually do, don't use this as an excuse to become sedentary! If a workout session suffers, run up every flight of stairs you come across, park at the far spot, tighten your abs or glutes while waiting in line to pay for your purchases, tear up the dance floor - just keep moving!
Eat, drink and be healthy.