“If you don’t love it, don’t eat it. If you love it, savor it.”
- Liz Keller
Eat Smart’s 7 Tips To Avoid Weight Gain During the Holidays
1. Stay Active
This is tip number one because it will help with many other aspects of this list. If you continue to stay active during the holidays, you will not only burn calories but also decrease stress and sleep better. With your never-ending list of things to get done during this time, make the activity a priority that you won’t skip.
2. Modify Recipes
This year is the perfect time to make some recipe swaps with some of your traditional recipes. When baking, you can replace butter with applesauce, mashed banana, or pumpkin puree. You can also try replacing cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo with Greek yogurt.
3. Plan Smart Snacks
It’s easy to lose track of time when you are busy. Before you know it, it’s been hours since your last meal, and now you are ravenous. Plan ahead and buy snack packs of nuts (or make your own). Fruit and nut butter combinations are my go-to snacks since they are loaded with vitamins and minerals, along with fiber and protein.
4. Focus on Fiber
Many traditional holiday meals and snacks are high in carbohydrates and sugar. Try having a salad before the main course and adding extra vegetables to your plate. The fiber in the vegetables will help you feel full and make it easier to forgo the second serving of mashed potatoes. You can also add more fiber to your diet by eating whole grains, beans, berries, and avocados.
5. Portion Sizes
The holidays are a time of traditions and celebrations, and not the time to be restrictive. Telling yourself you can’t have your favorite meals and snacks is a plan for failure; an all or nothing mentality ALWAYS results in eating more calories. Allowing yourself to eat what you want will make the holidays less stressful but be mindful of your portion sizes. Try using smaller plates to trick your mind into thinking you’re eating a bigger portion than you really are.
Sleep deprivation leads to weight gain. When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain craves more carbohydrates and sweets. Quality sleep improves your mood, metabolism, and immune system. If you find it hard to turn your mind off before bed, create a relaxing bedtime routine. Avoid technology for at least an hour before bed, practice a breathing routine, and when feeling stress, make a list of things you are grateful for.
7. Mindful Eating
Eat something to enjoy it, not just because it is there. If you take your time to savor every bite of food, you will eat fewer calories and enjoy it more. By continuously making mental notes if you are still enjoying what you are eating, it will be easier not to just finish something because it is in front of you. “If you don’t love it, don’t eat it. If you love it, savor it.”
If you would like my help with a meal plan, motivation to move more, or changing your mindset, contact me to set up an in-person or online consultation.
Email Liz at: [email protected]
About the Author
Liz Keller is a Nutritionist with a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition & Dietetics from Queens College. She is a certified CDC National DDP Lifestyle Coach through Solera Health and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Human Nutrition from Bridgeport University. She runs the Eat Smart program at Fitness Incentive.