You always hear about how Americans tend to pack on weight during the holiday season, and—let’s face it—it’s easy to hide a few extra pounds beneath an oversized holiday sweater. But just because there are parties left and right doesn’t mean you should leave your health goals out in the cold. Here are six tips to help you avoid the festive 15 and still enjoy the holiday season.
1. Stress Less
When you’re stressed, your body releases a hormone that increases your appetite. You’re also more likely to reach for junk food as a coping mechanism when you experience anxiety. If the holidays leave you feeling frazzled, try a healthy way to relieve stress, such as yoga or meditation.
2. Find a Fitness Friend
The holidays typically bring a flurry of to-dos, and rarely do those include exercise. With so much on your plate, it can be tempting to skip a workout here and there. Find someone with similar fitness goals with whom you can exercise. Scheduling workout meetups with your buddy will keep you accountable.
3. Eat Before
Have a healthy snack before you head to a get-together to avoid overeating. Most of the food at a party will typically be starchy and full of fat, so eating before will allow you to enjoy smaller portions of your favorite foods while still staying full.
4. Grab a Smaller Plate
When you have a smaller plate, healthy-sized portions of foods look more significant, and your plate will appear fuller with less food. Fill your plate with vegetables first, and reach for the unhealthy dishes last, when there is only a little room left on your plate.
5. Interact with Others
When you sit down to eat, start up a conversation with those around you. Talking with others will reduce the speed at which you eat, and you’ll be less likely to overindulge since it takes your body about 20 minutes to notice you’re full.
6. Forgive Yourself
If you slip up and skip a workout or overeat at a party, don’t be hard on yourself. Nobody is perfect, so don’t let one mistake throw off your entire health plan. Accept the misstep, and get back on track!
With a few simple lifestyle changes, you can enjoy a joyous and healthy winter. If you need help developing a workout plan or figuring out the right diet for you, your Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician can help! Schedule an appointment to talk with your doctor to learn more about how to have a healthy and happy holiday season.
Healthline | 20 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain During the Holidays
Runner's World | How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
Eat This, Not That! | 15 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain