Your guide to weight maintenance on celebratory days
We eat when we celebrate but gobbling your way through heaps of baked potatoes, sweet potato with marshmallows, malva pudding and milk tart can expand your waistline and leave you rounder – you might start the new year a few kilograms heavier.
What should you do to avoid holiday weight gain?
Dieting is hard and even more so during festivities when tables groan under the weight of fattening food. Now is not the best time to kick off a weight loss journey, rather focus on maintaining your weight during the festive season. The best strategy: shift into maintenance mode and kick off your weight loss journey in the new year!
How to control your weight whilst celebrating
Here’s what you can do before your holiday gathering and before, during and after your big celebratory meals.
Before the holiday gathering
Before you head out for a celebration, implement the following.
Start weight maintenance today
When it comes to fattening food – put your foot down, or rather keep your mouth closed – starting today! It is perfectly fine to say no to foods and behaviours that hinder your weight control goals.
Decide before the holiday gathering how much you will eat and what kind of foods you want to avoid.
Understand that occasional slip-ups can occur, but it is crucial not to let these derail your progress. Instead, acknowledge these setbacks and focus on making healthier choices moving forward.
Find a buddy
Finding a weight loss friend can greatly help you maintain your weight. Look for someone who shares similar weight goals, as they can offer support and help keep you on track during the holiday season.
Consider reaching out to friends, family, or colleagues to find a weight-maintenance buddy. If your friend is not celebrating with you on the day, you can text or phone them occasionally to check in.
Example text to a friend:
Hi friend! How is your celebratory day going? I am enjoying some healthy snacks today but the cupcakes on the snack table are so alluring. Have you enjoyed some healthy foods today?
In the new year, you can meet up with your friend and celebrate how well you were able to control your weight during the holiday season.
Before the big meal
There are usually loads of snacks at festive events. If you can control your snacking habits, you will control your weight much better. Here’s what you can do:
Snack from a plate
Try not to nibble on snacks without using a plate. Without a plate, it becomes challenging to keep track of how much you’re eating, leading to mindless munching. By serving your snacks on a plate, you can prevent this mindless hand-to-mouth behaviour and avoid excessive eating.
Don’t make a meal out of snacks
Rather than focusing on short-term gratification by indulging in calorie-dense, sugary snacks, it’s essential to prioritize healthier options that will make you feel satisfied in the long run. That’s why it’s best not to fill your tummy with high-fat snacks before the main meal.
During the meal
You can heartily enjoy your main meal and still maintain your weight. Here’s what to do:
Look at all the food before you dish
When it comes to holiday meals, it’s easy to get carried away and overindulge. A smarter approach is to take a step back and assess all the available food options before dishing up. By doing so, you can prioritize filling your plate with healthier choices like proteins and vegetables.
Skip that second helping
When attending holiday gatherings, it’s common to face heaps of tempting food choices. To prevent overindulging, don’t dish seconds. By consciously limiting yourself to just one plate, you can avoid the excessive calorie intake that often leads to weight gain.
You can also keep track of portion sizes when you dish. One effective strategy is to use smaller plates, as this can trick your brain into thinking you’ve eaten more food than you actually have.
After the meal
You’ve got the whole day to lounge around after your meal – it’s holiday after all. If you want to maintain your weight, opt for some physical activity with your loved ones. You can swim, go for a walk or play with the kids or pets in the garden.
May you have the best festive season! Enjoy the time with your loved ones and enjoy the food. You can delight in your meals and snacks while also maintaining your weight so that you don’t have to start the new year a few kilograms heavier.
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